This link above is to the current plant database I'm working on for the book, its far from done.

 Here is the plant database, some items may be repeated do to different classification families/species etc. I focus on plants able to be grown in USDA  zones 4,5,6 but not limited to. As possible pictures will also be added eventually. If you know of something not listed please email me at with a full description etc as you see here along with a picture if possible. Thanks

note: that this data base is not in any particular order as of yet, also most information has been taken from Wikipedia, I will fix errors etc when possible as well as some of the odd charecters, thanks for your patience.


The Mulleins genus Verbascum, (also known as velvet plants) are a genus of about 250

species of flowering plants in the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae). They are native to

Europe and Asia, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean region.

They are biennial or perennial plants, rarely annuals or subshrubs, growing to 0.5–3 m

tall. The plants first form a dense rosette of leaves at ground level, subsequently sending

up a tall flowering stem. Biennial plants will form the rosette the first year, and during

the following season is when the stem emerges. The leaves are spirally arranged, often

densely hairy, though glabrous (hairless) in some species. The flowers have five

symmetrical petals; petal colors in different species include yellow (most common),

orange, red-brown, purple, blue or white. The fruit is a capsule containing numerous minute

Cultivation and uses
Various species have been introduced (and in some case naturalized) in the Americas,


Common chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a bushy perennial herbaceous plant with blue,

lavender, or occasionally white flowers. Various varieties are cultivated for salad leaves,

chicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as

a coffee substitute and additive. It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock. It lives

as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia,

where it has become naturalized.

"Chicory" is also the common name in the US (and in French) for curly endive (Cichorium

endivia); these two closely related species are often confused.
Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed. It is also called

cornflower, although that name is more commonly applied to Centaurea cyanus. Common names

for varieties of var. foliosum include endive, radicchio, Belgian endive, French endive,

red endive, sugarloaf or witloof.
When flowering, chicory has a tough, grooved, and more or less hairy stem, from 30 to 100

centimetres (10 to 40 in) tall.

The leaves are stalked, lanceolate and unlobed.

The flower heads are 2 to 4 centimeters (0.79 to 1.6 in) wide, and bright blue. There are

two rows of involucral bracts - the inner are longer and erect, the outer are shorter and

spreading. It flowers from July until October.

The achenes have no pappus (feathery hairs), but do have toothed scales on top.
Wild chicory leaves are usually bitter. Their bitterness is appreciated in certain

cuisines, such as in the Liguria and Puglia regions of Italy and also in Catalonia, in

Greece and in Turkey.[4] In Ligurian cuisine the wild chicory leaves are an ingredient of

preboggion and in Greek cuisine of horta; in the Puglian region wild chicory leaves are

combined with fava bean puree in the traditional local dish Fave e Cicorie Selvatiche.
By cooking and discarding the water the bitterness is reduced, after which the chicory

leaves may be sauteed with garlic, anchovies and other ingredients. In this form the

resulting greens might be combined with pasta[6] or to accompany meat dishes
Chicory may be cultivated for its leaves, usually eaten raw as salad leaves. Cultivated

chicory is generally divided into three types of which there are many varieties:[8]

    * Radicchio usually has variegated red or red and green leaves. Some only refer to the

white-veined red leaved type as radicchio. Also known as red endive and red chicory. It has

a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted. It can also be used

to add color and zest to salads.

    * Sugarloaf looks rather like cos lettuce, with tightly packed leaves.


    * Belgian endive is also known as French endive, witlof in Dutch or witloof in Belgian

Dutch, witloof in the United States[citation needed], chicory in the UK, as witloof in

Australia, endive in France, and chicon in parts of northern France and in Wallonia. It has

a small head of cream-colored, bitter leaves. It is grown completely underground or

indoors in the absence of sunlight in order to prevent the leaves from turning green and

opening up (etiolation). The plant has to be kept just below the soil surface as it grows,

only showing the very tip of the leaves. It is often sold wrapped in blue paper to protect

it from light and so preserve its pale color and delicate flavor. The smooth, creamy

white leaves may be served stuffed, baked, boiled, cut and cooked in a milk sauce, or

simply cut raw. Slightly bitter, the whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste. The harder

inner part of the stem, at the bottom of the head, should be cut out before cooking to

prevent bitterness. Belgium exports chicon/witloof to over 40 different countries. The

technique for growing blanched endives was accidentally discovered in the 1850s in

Schaerbeek, Belgium.[9] Endive is cultivated for culinary use by cutting the leaves from

the growing plant, then keeping the living stem and root in a dark place. A new bud

develops but without sunlight it is white and lacks the bitterness of the sun-exposed

foliage. Today France is the largest producer of endives.

Flower of Cichorium intybus
Belgian endive
Belgian endive
leaves unlobed and pointed
note two rows of bracts

Although leaf chicory is often called "endive", true endive (Cichorium endivia) is a

different species in the genus.
[edit] Root chicory

Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum) has been in cultivation in Europe as a coffee

substitute. The roots are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive,

especially in the Mediterranean region (where the plant is native), although its use as a

coffee additive is also very popular in India, parts of Southeast Asia, South Africa and

southern United States, particularly in New Orleans. It has also been popular as a coffee

substitute in poorer economic areas, and has gained wider popularity during economic crises

such as the Great Depression in the 1930s. Chicory, with sugar beet and rye was used as an

ingredient of the East German Mischkaffee (mixed coffee), introduced during the "coffee

crisis" of 1976-79.

Some beer brewers use roasted chicory to add flavor to their stouts.

Around 1970 it was found that the root contains up to 20% inulin, a polysaccharide similar

to starch. Inulin is mainly found in the plant family Asteraceae as a storage carbohydrate

(for example Jerusalem artichoke, dahlia etc.). It is used as a sweetener in the food

industry with a sweetening power 1⁄10 that of sucrose[10] and is sometimes added to yogurts

as a prebiotic. Inulin can be converted to fructose and glucose through hydrolysis. Inulin

is also gaining popularity as a source of soluble dietary fiber.

Chicory root extract is a dietary supplement or food additive produced by mixing dried,

ground, chicory root with water, and removing the insoluble fraction by filtration and

centrifugation. Other methods may be used to remove pigments and sugars. Fresh chicory root

typically contains, by dry weight, 68% inulin, 14% sucrose, 5% cellulose, 6% protein, 4%

ash, and 3% other compounds. Dried chicory root extract contains, by weight, approximately

98% inulin and 2% other compounds.[11] Fresh chicory root may contain between 13 and 23%

inulin, by total weight.[12]
[edit] Agents responsible for bitterness

The bitter substances are primarily the two sesquiterpene lactones Lactucin and

Lactucopicrin. Other ingredients are Aesculetin, Aesculin, Cichoriin, Umbelliferone,

Scopoletin and 6.7-Dihydrocoumarin and further sesquiterpene lactones and their

[edit] Medicinal use

Root chicory contains volatile oils similar to those found in plants in the related genus

Tanacetum which includes Tansy, and is similarly effective at eliminating intestinal worms.

All parts of the plant contain these volatile oils, with the majority of the toxic

components concentrated in the plant's root.[14]

Chicory is well known for its toxicity to internal parasites. Studies indicate that

ingestion of chicory by farm animals results in reduction of worm burdens,[15][16][17]

which has prompted its widespread use as a forage supplement. Only a few major companies

are active in research, development, and production of chicory varieties and selections,

most in New Zealand.

Chicory (especially the flower) was used as a treatment in Germany, and is recorded in many

books as an ancient German treatment for everyday ailments. It is variously used as a tonic

and as a treatment for gallstones, gastro-enteritis, sinus problems and cuts and bruises.

(Howard M. 1987). Inulin, the dietary fiber found in Chicory finds application in diabetes

and constipation.
[edit] Forage
    This section is missing citations or needs footnotes. Please help add inline

citations to guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies. (July 2010)

Chicory produces a large volume of palatable and relatively easily digested foliage with a

high protein and mineral content and is suitable for grazing sheep and dairy cattle.

Chicory contains small amounts of condensed tannins (some varieties more than others)

aiding in the conversion of nitrogen to proteins in ruminant digestion. Tannins are also

rumored[by whom?] to reduce intestinal parasites, however, scientific studies have not

proved a direct anti-parasite effect. Studies[which?] indicate that the increased

availability of high quality protein to the animal (perhaps in combination with increased

levels of trace minerals) results in a general increase in animal condition that helps in

reducing worm burdens.

Development of chicory varieties has taken place mostly in New Zealand, with some use in

North America
[edit] Forage chicory varieties

    * Puna (Grasslands Puna) – One of the most popular forage varieties, developed in New

Zealand. It is well adapted to different climates, being grown from Alberta, Canada, to New

Mexico and Florida. It is resistant to bolting, which leads to high nutrient levels in the

leaves in spring. It also has high resistance to grazing.

    * Forage Feast – A variety from France used for human consumption and also for wildlife

plots.[clarification needed] It is very cold-hardy, and due to use for human consumption it

is lower in tannins than other forage varieties.

    * Choice – Choice has been bred for high winter and early-spring growth activity, and

lower amounts of lactucin and lactone, which are believed to taint milk. It is also use for

seeding deer wildlife plots.

    * Oasis – Bred for increased lactone rates for the forage industry, and for higher

resistance to fungal diseases like Sclerotinia.[clarification needed]

    * Puna II – More winter-active than most other varieties, which leads to greater

persistence and longevity.

    * Grouse – A New Zealand variety used as a planting companion for forage brassicas.

More prone to early flowering than other varieties, with higher crowns more susceptible to


    * Six Point – A United States variety, very similar to Puna.

[edit] History

The chicory plant is one of the earliest cited in recorded literature. Horace mentions it

in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: "Me pascunt olivae, me

cichorea, me malvae" ("As for me, olives, endives, and mallows provide sustenance").[18]

Lord Monboddo describes the plant in 1779[19] as the "chicoree", which the French cultivate

as a pot herb. In the Napoleonic Era in France, chicory frequently appeared as either an

adulterant in coffee or a coffee substitute.;[20] this practice also became common in the

United States and the United Kingdom, e.g., in England during the Second World War and in

Camp Coffee, a coffee and chicory essence which has been on sale since 1885.

The cultivated chicory plant has a history reaching back to ancient Egyptian time. Medieval

monks raised the plants and when coffee was introduced to Europe, the Dutch thought that

chicory made a lively addition to the bean drink.

In the United States chicory root has long been used as a substitute for coffee in

prisons.[21] By the 1840s, after New York, the port of New Orleans was the second largest

importer of coffee.[20] Louisianans began to add chicory root to their coffee when Union

naval blockades during the American Civil War cut off the port of New Orleans creating a

long-standing tradition.[20]

Chicory is a common ingredient in typical Roman recipes, generally fried with garlic and

red pepper to add its bitter and spicy flavor to meat or potato dishes. FAO reports that in

2005, China and the USA were the top producers of lettuce and chicory.[citation needed]

Chicory is also mentioned in certain sericulture (silk-growing) texts. It is said that the

primary caretaker of the silkworms, the "silkworm mother" should not eat or even touch

it.[citation needed]

The chicory flower is often seen as inspiration for the Romantic concept of the Blue

Flower. It was also believed to be able to open locked doors, according to European




Clover (Trifolium), or trefoil, is a genus of about 300 species of plants in the leguminous

pea family Fabaceae. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution; the highest diversity is

found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, but many species also occur in South America

and Africa, including at high altitudes on mountains in the tropics. They are small annual,

biennial, or short-lived perennial herbaceous plants. The leaves are trifoliate (rarely 5-

or 7-foliate), with stipules adnate to the leaf-stalk, and heads or dense spikes of small

red, purple, white, or yellow flowers; the small, few-seeded pods are enclosed in the

calyx. Other closely related genera often called clovers include Melilotus (sweet clover)

and Medicago (alfalfa or 'calvary clover'). The "shamrock" of popular iconography is

sometimes considered to be young clover. The scientific name derives from the Latin tres,

"three", and folium, "leaf", so called from the characteristic form of the leaf, which has

three leaflets (trifoliate); hence the popular name trefoil. Clovers are used as food

plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species; see list of

Lepidoptera that feed on clovers.
Several species are extensively cultivated as fodder plants. The most widely cultivated

clovers are white clover Trifolium repens and red clover Trifolium pratense. Clover, either

sown alone or in mixture with ryegrass, has for a long time formed a staple crop for

soiling, for several reasons: it grows freely, shooting up again after repeated mowings; it

produces an abundant crop; it is palatable to and nutritious for livestock; it grows in a

great range of soils and climates; and it is appropriate for either pasturage or green


In many areas, particularly on acidic soil, clover is short-lived because of a combination

of insect pests, diseases and nutrient balance; this is known as "clover sickness". When

crop rotations are managed so that clover does not recur at intervals shorter than eight

years, it grows with much of its pristine vigor.

Clover sickness in more recent times may also be linked to pollinator decline; clovers are

most efficiently pollinated by bumblebees, which have declined as a result of agricultural

intensification.[3] Honeybees can also pollinate clover, and beekeepers are often in heavy

demand from farmers with clover pastures. Farmers reap the benefits of increased reseeding

that occurs with increased bee activity, which means that future clover yields remain

abundant. Beekeepers benefit from the clover bloom as clover is one of the main nectar

sources for honeybees.

T. repens, white or Dutch clover, is a perennial abundant in meadows and good pastures. The

flowers are white or pinkish, becoming brown and deflexed as the corolla fades. T.

hybridum, alsike or Swedish clover, is a perennial which was introduced early in the 19th

century and has now become naturalized in Britain. The flowers are white or rosy, and

resemble those of the last species. T. medium, meadow or zigzag clover, a perennial with

straggling flexuous stems and rose-purple flowers, is of little agricultural value.

Other South African species are: T. arvense, hare's-foot trefoil; found in fields and dry

pastures, a soft hairy plant with minute white or pale pink flowers and feathery sepals; T.

fragiferum, orange clover, with hot-grounded, globose, rose-purple heads and swollen

calyxes; T. procumbens, hop trefoil, on dry pastures and roadsides, the heads of pale

yellow flowers suggesting miniature hops; and the somewhat similar T. minus, common in

pastures and roadsides, with smaller heads and small yellow flowers turning dark brown. It

is a source of high protein.
[edit] Symbolism and mythology
A four-leaf clover
A five-leaf clover

Shamrock, the traditional Irish symbol coined by Saint Patrick for the Holy Trinity, is

commonly associated with clover, though sometimes with Oxalis species, which are also

trifoliate (i.e., they have three leaves).

Clovers occasionally have leaves with four leaflets, instead of the usual three. These

four-leaf clovers, like other rarities, are considered lucky. Clovers can also have five,

six, or more leaves, but these are more rare. The most ever recorded is twenty-one,[4] a

record set in June 2008 by the same man who held the prior record and the current Guinness

World Record of eighteen.[5] Unofficial claims of discovery have ranged as high as


A common idiom is "to be (live) in clover", meaning to live a carefree life of ease,

comfort, or prosperity. This originally referred to the fact that clover is fattening to


The cloverleaf interchange is named for the resemblance to the leaves of a (four-leafed)

clover when viewed from the air.



Typha (pronounced /ˈtaɪfə/) is a genus of about eleven species of monocotyledonous

flowering plants in the family Typhaceae. The genus has a largely Northern Hemisphere

distribution, but is essentially cosmopolitan, being found in a variety of wetland

habitats. These plants are known in British English as bulrush, bullrush, or reedmace,[1]

in American English as cattail, punks, or corndog grass, in Australia as cumbungi & also

bulrush, and in New Zealand as raupo. Typha should not be confused with other plants known

as bulrush, such as some sedges (mostly in Scirpus and related genera).

Their rhizomes are edible. Evidence of preserved starch grains on grinding stones suggests

they were eaten in Europe 30,000 years ago.
Typha leaves are alternate and mostly basal to a simple, jointless stem that eventually

bears the flowering spikes. The rhizomes spread horizontally beneath the surface of muddy

ground to start new upright growth, and the spread of Typha is an important part of the

process of open water bodies being converted to vegetated marshland and eventually dry


Typha plants are monoecious and bear unisexual, wind-pollinated flowers, developing in

dense spikes. The numerous male flowers form a narrow spike at the top of the vertical

stem. Each male (staminate) flower is reduced to a pair of stamens and hairs, and withers

once the pollen is shed. The very large numbers of tiny female flowers form a dense,

sausage-shaped spike on the stem below the male spike — in larger species this can be up to

30 centimeters (12 in) long and 1 to 4 centimeters (0.39 to 1.6 in) thick. Seeds are

minute, 0.2 millimeters (0.0079 in) long, and attached to a fine hair. When ripe the heads

disintegrate into dense cottony fluff, from which the seeds disperse by wind. Typha is

often among the first wetland plants to colonize areas of newly exposed wet mud; it also

spreads by rhizomes, forming dense stands often to the exclusion of other plants.
[edit] Species

    * Typha angustifolia - Lesser Bulrush, Narrow Leaf Cattail (America) or Jambu (India)
    * Typha domingensis - Bulrush, Southern Cattail (America) or Narrow-leaved Cumbungi

    * Typha ×glauca (angustifolia × latifolia) - Hybrid or White Cattail
    * Typha latifolia - Common Cattail
    * Typha laxmannii - Laxman's Bulrush
    * Typha minima - Dwarf Bulrush
    * Typha muelleri - Raupo (New Zealand)
    * Typha orientalis - Broadleaf Cumbungi (Australia) or Raupo (New Zealand)
    * Typha capensis - Cape bulrush
    * Typha shuttleworthii - Shuttleworth's Bulrush

Typha plants at the edge of a small wetland in Indiana.

The most widespread species is Typha latifolia, extending across the entire temperate

northern hemisphere. T. angustifolia is nearly as widespread, but does not extend so far

north; some believe it is introduced and invasive in North America. T. domingensis is a

more southerly American and Australian species, extending from the U.S. to South America.

T. orientalis is widespread in eastern & northern Australia, temperate & tropical Asia, New

Zealand. T. laxmannii, T. minima, and T. shuttleworthii are largely restricted to Asia and

parts of southern Europe. Typha latifolia has also been recently introduced into fresh

water creeks and lakes in Australia where the water is shallow and contains levels of

dirty, turbid water. It affects the flow of the water and also filters the water and

catches floating or submerged items, possibly damming the water flow.

Typha plants grow along lake margins and in marshes, often in dense colonies, and are

sometimes considered a weed in managed wetlands. The plant's root systems help prevent

erosion, and the plants themselves are often home to many insects, birds and amphibians.
[edit] Uses
[edit] Edible uses

Typha has a wide variety of parts that are edible to humans. The rhizomes, underground

lateral stems, are a pleasant nutritious and energy-rich food source that when processed

into flour contains 266 kcal per 100 g.[2]. They are generally harvested from late autumn

to early spring. These are starchy, but also fibrous, so the starch must be scraped or

sucked from the tough fibers. The bases of the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, in late

spring when they are young and tender. As the flower spike is developing in early summer,

it can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob[clarification needed]. In mid-summer,

once the male flowers are mature [3], the pollen can be collected and used as a flour

supplement or thickener. Typha has also recently been suggested as a source of

oil.[clarification needed] However, the plant's airborne seeds have also been known to

create skin irritation and can trigger asthma.

Starch grains have been found on grinding stones widely across Europe from 30,000 BP

suggesting that Typha plants were a widely used Upper Paleolithic food.[2]
[edit] Other uses
Typha seeds are very small, embedded in down parachutes, and very effectively

Typha (蒲, gama?) with/without seeds. Seeds used for Futon (布団 or 蒲団, futon?) before cotton

The disintegrating heads are used by some birds to line their nests. The downy material was

also used by some Native American tribes as tinder for starting fires.

Some Native American tribes also used Typha down to line moccasins, and for bedding,

diapers, baby powder, and papoose boards. One Native American word for Typha meant "fruit

for papoose's bed". Today some people still use Typha down to stuff clothing items and

pillows.[4] When using Typha for pillow stuffing, dense batting material is used, as the

fluff may cause a skin reaction similar to urticaria.

Typha can be dipped in wax then lit as a candle, the stem serving as a wick.

The down has been used to fill life vests in the same manner as kapok.[citation needed]

Typha can be used as a source of ethanol, instead of cereals.[clarification needed] They

have the advantage that they do not require much, if any, maintenance.[5]

One informal experiment has indicated that Typha is able to remove the poisonous element

arsenic from drinking water. Such a filtration system may be one way to provide cheap water

filtration for people in developing nations.[6]

The boiled root stocks have been used as a diuretic for increasing urination, or used

mashing, to make a jelly-like paste for sores, boils, wounds, burns, scabs, inflammations,

and smallpox pustules.[citation needed]

Typha orientalis is used to make compostable food packaging.



Burdock is any of a group of biennial thistles in the genus Arctium, family Asteraceae.

Native to the Old World, several species have been widely introduced worldwide.[2]

Plants of the genus Arctium have dark green leaves that can grow up to 28" (71 cm) long.

They are generally large, coarse and ovate, with the lower ones being heart-shaped. They

are woolly underneath. The leafstalks are generally hollow. Arctium species generally

flower from July through to October.

The prickly heads of these plants (burrs) are noted for easily catching on to fur and

clothing (being the inspiration for Velcro[3]), thus providing an excellent mechanism for

seed dispersal.[2] Burrs cause local irritation and can possibly cause intestinal hairballs

in pets. However, most animals avoid ingesting these plants.

A large number of species have been placed in genus Arctium at one time or another, but

most of them are now classified in the related genus Cousinia. The precise limits between

Arctium and Cousinia are hard to define; there is an exact correlation between their

molecular phylogeny. The burdocks are sometimes confused with the cockleburs (genus

Xanthium) and rhubarb (genus Rheum).

The roots of burdock, among other plants, are eaten by the larva of the Ghost Moth

(Hepialus humuli). The plant is used as a food plant by other Lepidoptera including

Brown-tail, Coleophora paripennella, Coleophora peribenanderi, the Gothic, Lime-speck Pug

and Scalloped Hazel.

The green, above-ground portions may cause contact dermatitis in humans due to the lactones

the plant produces.
[edit] Food and drink

The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. While

generally out of favour in modern European cuisine, it remains popular in Asia. In Japan,

A. lappa (Greater burdock) is called "gobō" (牛蒡 or ごぼう); in Korea burdock root is called

"u-eong" (우엉) and sold as "tong u-eong" (통우엉), or "whole burdock". Plants are cultivated

for their slender roots, which can grow about 1 meter long and 2 cm across. Burdock root is

very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that

can be reduced by soaking julienned or shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.

Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; their

taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related. Leaves are also eaten

in springs in Japan when a plant is young and leaves are soft. Some A. lappa cultivars are

specialized in this purpose. A popular Japanese dish is kinpira gobō (金平牛蒡), julienned or

shredded burdock root and carrot, braised with soy sauce, sugar, mirin and/or sake, and

sesame oil; another is burdock makizushi (sushi filled with pickled burdock root; the

burdock root is often artificially coloured orange to resemble a carrot).

In the second half of the 20th century, burdock achieved international recognition for its

culinary use due to the increasing popularity of the macrobiotic diet, which advocates its

consumption. It contains a fair amount of dietary fiber (GDF, 6g per 100g), calcium,

potassium, amino acids,[4] and is low in calories. It contains a polyphenol oxidase,[5]

which cause its darkened surface and muddy harshness by forming tannin-iron complexes.

Burdock root's harshness harmonizes well with pork in miso soup (tonjiru) and with

Japanese-style pilaf (takikomi gohan).

Dandelion and burdock is today a soft drink that has long been popular in the United

Kingdom, which has its origins in hedgerow mead commonly drunk in the medieval

period.[citation needed] Burdock is believed to be a galactagogue, a substance that

increases lactation, but it is sometimes recommended to be avoided during pregnancy based

on animal studies that show components of burdock to cause uterus stimulation.[6]

In parts of the US (notably western New York), burdock stalks are eaten as a substitute for

cardoon. The stalks are peeled, scrubbed, boiled in salt water, and fried in an egg and

breadcrumb batter.
[edit] Traditional medicine

Folk herbalists consider dried burdock to be a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying

agent. The seeds of A. lappa are used in traditional Chinese medicine, under the name

niupangzi (Chinese: 牛蒡子; pinyin: niúpángzi; Some dictionaries list the Chinese as just 牛蒡


Burdock is a traditional medicinal herb that is used for many ailments. Burdock root oil

extract, also called Bur oil, is popular in Europe as a scalp treatment applied to improve

hair strength, shine and body, help reverse scalp conditions such as dandruff, and combat

hair loss. Modern studies[citation needed] indicate that burdock root oil extract is rich

in phytosterols and essential fatty acids (including rare long-chain EFAs), the nutrients

required to maintain a healthy scalp and promote natural hair growth. It combines an

immediate relieving effect with nutritional support of normal functions of sebaceous glands

and hair follicles According to some European herbalists, combining burdock root oil with a

nettle root oil and massaging these two oils into the scalp every day has a greater effect

than Bur oil alone.[citation needed]

Burdock leaves are used by some burn care workers for pain management and to speed healing

time in natural burn treatment.[7] Burn care workers hold that it eases dressing changes

and appears to impede bacterial growth on the wound site and that it also provides a great

moisture barrier.
[edit] French Cloth

In the early 1700s, Frenchmen introduced these by the thousands into North America. They

used it exclusively as a cotton twill. But once the cotton gin was invented, the Frenchmen

left, and the burdock spread incredibly quickly.[citation needed] The Frenchmen left during

the windy season, and it spread even more. Burdock is considered an invasive species in

North America.
[edit] Burdock and Velcro

After taking his dog for a walk one day in the early 1940s, George de Mestral, a Swiss

inventor, became curious about the seeds of the burdock plant that had attached themselves

to his clothes and to the dog's fur. Under a microscope, he looked closely at the

hook-and-loop system that the seeds use to hitchhike on passing animals aiding seed

dispersal, and he realised that the same approach could be used to join other things

together. The result was Velcro.[3]
[edit] Tolstoy

The Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote in his journal, in 1896, about a tiny shoot of burdock

he saw in a ploughed field, "black from dust but still alive and red in the center … It

makes me want to write. It asserts life to the end, and alone in the midst of the whole

field, somehow or other had asserted it."
[edit] Species

    * Arctium lappa : Greater Burdock, Gobō
    * Arctium minus : Lesser Burdock, Burweed, Louse-bur, Button-bur
          o Arctium minus nemorosum (=Arctium vulgare) : Woodland Burdock, Wood Burdock
    * Arctium pubens : Common Burdock
    * Arctium tomentosum : Downy Burdock, Woolly Burdock

[edit] Safety

Because the roots of burdock resemble those of Deadly nightshade (also known as belladonna

or Atropa belladonna), which is extremely poisonous, it is sometimes cautioned as a safety

risk. Given that the plants above ground are readily distinguishable, and chiefly because

their habitats rarely overlap, it is unlikely that the toxic plant's root should be found

beneath the foliage of the edible one's. However, positive identification is a necessary

precondition to the consumption of any wild plant.



Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial[1] plant species in the

genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its allium cousins, onions

and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the

family Alliaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most

of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia,[2][3][4] and is widely cultivated as a

vegetable crop.

Asparagus is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall,

with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The "leaves" are in fact needle-like

cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 millimetres (0.24–1.3

in) long and 1 millimeter (0.039 in) broad, and clustered 4–15 together. The root system is

adventitious and the root type is fasciculated. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white

to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 millimeters (0.18–0.26 in) long, with six tepals partially fused

together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of 2–3 in the junctions of

the branchlets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants,

but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm

diameter, which is poisonous to humans.[5]

Plants native to the western coasts of Europe (from northern Spain north to Ireland, Great

Britain, and northwest Germany) are treated as Asparagus officinalis subsp. prostratus

(Dumort.) Corb., distinguished by its low-growing, often prostrate stems growing to only

30–70 centimeters (12–28 in) high, and shorter cladodes 2–18 millimeters (0.079–0.71 in)

long.[2][6] It is treated as a distinct species Asparagus prostratus Dumort by some

[edit] History

Asparagus has been used from early times as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate

flavor and diuretic properties. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest

surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third century AD De re coquinaria, Book III. It was

cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and

dried the vegetable for use in winter. Asparagus is pictured on an Egyptian frieze dating

to 3000 B.C. France’s Louis XIV had special greenhouses built for growing it.[9]

It lost its popularity in the Middle Ages but returned to favor in the seventeenth

[edit] Uses
[edit] Culinary
Three types of asparagus on a shop display, with white asparagus at the back and green

asparagus in the middle. The plant at the front is Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, commonly called

wild asparagus, and sometimes "Bath Asparagus".

Only young asparagus shoots are commonly eaten: once the buds start to open the shoots

quickly turn woody and become strongly flavoured.

Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6,

calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A,

vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron,

phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium[citation needed], as well as

chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from

the bloodstream into cells[citation needed]. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from

asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound.

The shoots are prepared and served in a number of ways around the world, typically as an

appetizer[11] or vegetable side dish. In Asian-style cooking, asparagus is often

stir-fried. Cantonese restaurants in the United States often serve asparagus stir-fried

with chicken, shrimp, or beef, and also wrapped in bacon. Asparagus may also be quickly

grilled over charcoal or hardwood embers. It is also used as an ingredient in some stews

and soups. In the French style, it is often boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise

sauce, melted butter or olive oil, Parmesan cheese or mayonnaise. Tall, narrow asparagus

cooking pots allow the shoots to be steamed gently, their tips staying out of the water. In

recent years, almost as a cycle dating back to early culinary habits, asparagus has

regained its popularity eaten raw as a component of a salad.[12]

Asparagus can also be pickled and stored for several years. Some brands may label shoots

prepared this way as "marinated."

The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand and dirt and therefore thorough

cleaning is generally advised in cooking asparagus.

Green asparagus is eaten worldwide, though the availability of imports throughout the year

has made it less of a delicacy than it once was.[6] However, in the UK, due to the short

growing season and demand for local produce, asparagus commands a premium and the

"asparagus season is a highlight of the foodie calendar."[13] In continental northern

Europe, there is also a strong seasonal following for local white asparagus, nicknamed

"white gold".
German botanical illustration of asparagus
[edit] Medicinal

The second century physician Galen described asparagus as "cleansing and healing."

Nutrition studies have shown that asparagus is a low-calorie source of folate and

potassium. Its stalks are high in antioxidants. "Asparagus provides essential nutrients:

six spears contain some 135 micrograms (μg) of folate, almost half the adult RDI

(recommended daily intake), 20 milligrams of potassium," notes an article in Reader's

Digest. Research suggests folate is key in taming homocysteine, a substance implicated in

heart disease. Folate is also critical for pregnant women, since it protects against neural

tube defects in babies. Several studies indicate that getting plenty of potassium may

reduce the loss of calcium from the body.

Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body

produce and maintain collagen, the major structural protein component of the body's

connective tissues.

"Asparagus has long been recognized for its medicinal properties," wrote D. Onstad, author

of Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of

Natural Foods. "Asparagus contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralize ammonia

that makes us tired, and protect small blood vessels from rupturing. Its fiber content

makes it a laxative too." It should be noted, however, that ammonia only "makes us tired"

if we are in end stage liver failure.
[edit] Cultivation
Green asparagus for sale in New York City.
See also: List of asparagus diseases

Since asparagus often originates in maritime habitats, it thrives in soils that are too

saline for normal weeds to grow in. Thus a little salt was traditionally used to suppress

weeds in beds intended for asparagus; this has the disadvantage that the soil cannot be

used for anything else. Some places are better for growing asparagus than others. The

fertility of the soil is a large factor. "Crowns" are planted in winter, and the first

shoots appear in spring; the first pickings or "thinnings" are known as sprue asparagus.

Sprue have thin stems.[14]

White asparagus, known as spargel, is cultivated by denying the plants light while they are

being grown. Less bitter than the green variety, it is very popular in the Netherlands,

France, Belgium and Germany where 57,000 tonnes (61% of consumer demands) are produced


Purple asparagus differs from its green and white counterparts, having high sugar and low

fibre levels. Purple asparagus was originally developed in Italy and commercialised under

the variety name Violetto d'Albenga. Since then, breeding work has continued in countries

such as the United States and New Zealand.[verification needed]

In northwestern Europe, the season for asparagus production is short, traditionally

beginning on April 23 and ending on Midsummer Day.[16]
[edit] Companion planting

Asparagus is a useful companion plant for tomatoes. The tomato plant repels the asparagus

beetle, as do several other common companion plants of tomatoes. Meanwhile, asparagus may

repel some harmful root nematodes that affect tomato plants.[



Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth, is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs. Approximately

60 species are recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to

gold. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses with members of the closely

related genus Celosia.

Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value

amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, and ornamentals. A traditional food plant in Africa,

amaranth has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural

development and support sustainable landcare.[1]

The ultimate root of "amaranth" is the Greek ἀμάραντος[2] (amarantos) "unfading" with the

Greek word for "flower" ἄνθος (anthos) factoring into the word's development as "amaranth"

- the more correct "amarant" is an archaic variant.

Amaranthus shows a wide variety of morphological diversity among and even within certain

species. Although the family (Amaranthaceae) is distinctive, the genus has few

distinguishing characters among the 70 species included.[3] This complicates taxonomy and

Amaranthus has generally been considered among systematists as a “difficult” genus.[4]

Formerly, Sauer (1955) classified the genus into 2 sub-genera, differentiating only between

monoecious and dioecious species: Acnida (L.) Aellen ex K.R. Robertson and Amaranthus.[4]

Although this classification was widely accepted, further infrageneric classification was

(and still is) needed to differentiate this widely diverse group.

Currently, Amaranthus includes 3 recognized sub-genera and 70 species, although species

numbers are questionable due to hybridization and species concepts.[5] Infrageneric

classification focuses on inflorescence, flower characters and whether a species is

monoecious/dioecious, as in the Sauer (1955) suggested classification.[3] A modified

infrageneric classification of Amaranthus was published by Mosyakin & Robertson (1996) and

includes 3 subgenera: Acnida, Amaranthus and Albersia. The taxonomy is further

differentiated by sections within each of the sub-genera.[6]
[edit] Uses
[edit] Amaranth Seed

Several species are raised for amaranth "grain" in Asia and the Americas. This should more

correctly be termed "pseudograin" (see below). They are highly edible by gluten intolerant

individuals because they are not a member of the grass family and contain no gluten.

Ancient amaranth grains still used to this day include the three species, Amaranthus

caudatus, Amaranthus cruentus, and Amaranthus hypochondriacus.[7] Although amaranth was

(and still is) cultivated on a small scale in parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, India, and

Nepal, there is potential for further cultivation in the U.S and tropical countries and it

is often referred to as "the crop of the future."[8] It has been proposed as an inexpensive

native crop that could be cultivated by indigenous people in rural areas for several

reasons: 1) it is easily harvested, 2) it produces lots of fruit and thus seeds, which are

used as grain, 3) it is highly tolerant of arid environments, which are typical of most

subtropical and some tropical regions, and 4) its seeds contain large amounts of protein

and essential amino acids, such as lysine.[9] 5) Amaranthus species are reported to have a

30% higher protein value than cereals, such as rice, wheat flour, oats, and rye.[10] 6) It

requires little fuel to cook. As befits its weedy life history, amaranth grains grow very

rapidly and their large seedheads can weigh up to 1 kilogram and contain a half-million


Amaranth was one of the staple foodstuffs of the Incas, and it is known as kiwicha in the

Andes today. It was also used by the ancient Aztecs, who called it huautli, and other

Native America peoples in Mexico to prepare ritual drinks and foods. To this day, amaranth

grains are toasted much like popcorn or martala and mixed with honey, molasses or chocolate

to make a treat called alegría (joy in Spanish).

Amaranth grain is a crop of moderate importance in the Himalaya.

Because of its importance as a symbol of indigenous culture, and because it is very

palatable, easy to cook, and its protein particularly well suited to human nutritional

needs, interest in grain amaranth (especially A. cruentus and A. hypochondriacus) revived

in the 1970s. It was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties and is now commercially

cultivated. It is a popular snack sold in Mexico City and other parts of Mexico, sometimes

mixed with chocolate or puffed rice, and its use has spread to Europe and parts of North

America. Amaranth and quinoa are called pseudograins because of their flavor and cooking

similarities to grains. These are dicot plant seeds, and both contain exceptionally

complete protein for plant sources. Besides protein, amaranth grain provides a good source

of dietary fiber and dietary minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and

especially manganese. It has been claimed to be beneficial in preventing greying of

hair.[citation needed]
[edit] Vegetables

Amaranth species are cultivated and consumed as a leaf vegetable in many parts of the

world. There are 4 species of Amaranthus documented as cultivated vegetables in eastern

Asia: Amaranthus cruentus, Amaranthus blitum, Amaranthus dubius, and Amaranthus


In Indonesia and Malaysia, leaf amaranth is called bayam, while the Tagalogs in the

Philippines call the plant kulitis or Callaloo. In Karnataka state in India it is used to

prepare curries like Hulee, palya, Majjigay-hulee and so on. In Tamilnadu State, it is

called முளைக்கீரை, and is regularly consumed as a favourite dish, where the greens are

steamed, and mashed, with light seasoning of salt, red chillis and cumin. It is called

keerai masial (கீரை மசியல்). In Andhra Pradesh, India, this leaf is added in preparation of

a popular dal called thotakura pappu తొట కూర పప్పు (Telugu). In Maharashtra, it is called

as "Shravani Maath" (literally माठ grown in month of Shravan) and it is available in both

red and white colour. In Orissa, it is called as "Khada saga", it is used to prepare 'Saga

Bhaja', in which the leaf is fried with chillies and onions.

Root of mature amaranth is an excellent vegetable. It is white in colour and is cooked with

tomatoes or tamarind gravy. It has a milky taste and is alkaline.

In China, the leaves and stems are used as a stir-fry vegetable, or in soups, and called

yin choi (苋菜; pinyin: xiàncài; and variations on this transliteration in various dialects).

Amaranth greens are believed to help enhance eyesight. In Vietnam, it is called rau dền and

is used to make soup. There are two species popular as edible vegetable in Vietnam: dền đỏ-

amaranthus tricolor and dền cơm or dền trắng- amaranthus viridis.

In East Africa, Amaranth leaf is known in Chewa as Bonongwe, and in Swahili as mchicha. In

Bantu-speaking regions of Uganda it is known as Doodo.[13] It is sometimes recommended by

some doctors for people having low red blood cell count. Also known among the Kalenjin as a

drought crop (chepkerta). In West Africa such as in Nigeria, it is a common vegetable, and

goes with all Nigerian carbohydrate dishes. It is known in Yoruba as efo tete or arowo jeja

("we have money left over for fish"). In Congo[clarification needed] it is known as lenga

lenga or biteku teku.[14] In the Caribbean, the leaves are called callaloo and are

sometimes used in a soup called pepperpot soup.

In Greece, Green Amaranth (Amaranthus viridis) is a popular dish and is called vlita or

vleeta. It's boiled, then served with olive oil and lemon like a salad, usually alongside

fried fish. Greeks stop harvesting the (usually wild-grown) plant when it starts to bloom

at the end of August. In Sri Lanka, it is called "Koora Thampala". Sri Lankans cook it and

eat it with rice. Fiji Indians call it choraiya bhaji.
[edit] Dyes

The flowers of the 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth were used by the Hopi (a tribe in the western

United States) as the source of a deep red dye. There is also a synthetic dye that has been

named "amaranth" for its similarity in color to the natural amaranth pigments known as

betalains. This synthetic dye is also known as Red No. 2 in North America and E123 in the

European Union.[15]
[edit] Ornamentals

The genus also contains several well-known ornamental plants, such as Amaranthus caudatus

(love-lies-bleeding), a native of India and a vigorous, hardy annual with dark purplish

flowers crowded in handsome drooping spikes. Another Indian annual, A. hypochondriacus

(prince's feather), has deeply veined lance-shaped leaves, purple on the under face, and

deep crimson flowers densely packed on erect spikes.

Amaranths are recorded as food plants for some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species

including the nutmeg moth and various case-bearer moths of the genus Coleophora: C.

amaranthella, C. enchorda (feeds exclusively on Amaranthus), C. immortalis (feeds

exclusively on Amaranthus), C. lineapulvella and C. versurella (recorded on A. spinosus).
[edit] Nutritional value

Amaranth greens, also called Chinese spinach, hinn choy or yin tsoi (simplified Chinese: 苋菜

; traditional Chinese: 莧菜; pinyin: xiàncài); callaloo, dhantinasoppu (Kannada); తోటకూర

(Telugu); Rajgira (Marathi); முளைக் கீரை (Tamil), cheera ചീര (Malayalam); bayam

(Indonesian); phak khom ผักโขม (Thai); tampala, or quelite, (Oriya); Khada Saga, are a

common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. It is very

popular in India. They are a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin K,

vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium,

iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Because of its

valuable nutrition, some farmers grow amaranth today. However their moderately high content

of oxalic acid can inhibit the absorption of calcium and zinc, and also indicates that they

should be eaten with caution under consultation with healthcare providers by people with

kidney disorders, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis, concerning mineral absorption and

supplementation.[citation needed] Reheating cooked amaranth greens is often discouraged,

particularly for consumption by small children, as the nitrates in the leaves can be

converted to nitrites, similarly to spinach.[citation needed]

Amaranth seeds, like buckwheat and quinoa, contain protein that is unusually complete for

plant sources.[16] Most fruits and vegetables do not contain a complete set of amino acids,

and thus different sources of protein must be used.

Its seeds have a protein content greater than that of wheat. However, unlike that found in

true grains (i.e. from grass seeds) its protein is not of the problematical type known as


Several studies have shown that like oats, amaranth seed or oil may be of benefit for those

with hypertension and cardiovascular disease; regular consumption reduces blood pressure

and cholesterol levels, while improving antioxidant status and some immune

parameters.[18][19][20] While the active ingredient in oats appears to be water-soluble

fiber, amaranth appears to lower cholesterol via its content of plant stanols and squalene.
[edit] As a weed

Not all amaranth plants are cultivated. Most of the species from Amaranthus are summer

annual weeds and are commonly referred to as pigweeds.[21] These species have an extended

period of germination, rapid growth, and high rates of seed production[21] and have been

causing problems for farmers since the mid-1990s. This is partially due to the reduction in

tillage, reduction in herbicidal use and the evolution of herbicidal resistance in several

species where herbicides have been applied more often.[22] The following 9 species of

Amaranthus are considered invasive and noxious weeds in the U.S and Canada: A. albus, A.

blitoides, A. hybridus, A. palmeri, A. powellii, A. retroflexus, A. spinosus, A.

tuberculatus, and A. viridis.[23]

A new herbicide-resistant strain of Amaranthus palmeri or Palmer amaranth has appeared; it

is Glyphosate-resistant and so cannot be killed by the widely used Roundup herbicide. Also,

this plant can survive in tough conditions. This could be of particular concern to cotton

farmers using Roundup Ready cotton.[24] The species Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth)

causes the greatest reduction in soybean yields and has the potential to reduce yields by

17-68% in field experiments.[21] Palmer amaranth is among the “top five most troublesome

weeds” in the southeast and has already evolved resistances to dinitroanilines and

acetolactate synthase inhibitors.[25] This makes the proper identification of Amaranthus

species at the seedling stage essential for agriculturalists. Proper herbicide treatment

needs to be applied before the species successfully colonizes in the crop field and causes

significant yield reductions.
[edit] Beneficial weed

Pigweed can be a beneficial weed, as well as a companion plant, serving as a trap for leaf

miners and some other pests, as well as sheltering ground beetles (which prey upon insect

pests) and breaking up hard soil for more delicate neighboring plants



Stellaria media, Stellaria pubera,

Other Names:  Common Chickweeds, Star Chickweed, Mouse-ear Chickweed
Chickweeds are an annual herb, widespread in temperate zones, arctic zones, and throughout,

probable origin Eurasia. Chickweeds have established themselves all over the world,

possibly carried on the clothes and shoes of explorers. They are as numerous in species as

they are in region. Most are succulent and have white flowers, and all with practically the

same edible and medicinal values. They all exhibit a very interesting trait, (they sleep)

termed the 'Sleep of Plants,' every night the leaves fold over the tender buds and the new


The cultivation of this one is not necessary it is abundant and easy to find. Gather fresh

edible plant between May and July, as soon as flowers appear, it can be used fresh or be

dried for later herb use.

  Chickweeds are Medicinal and edible, they are very nutritious, high in vitamins and

minerals, can be added to salads or cooked as a pot herb, tasting somewhat like spinach.

The major plant constituents in Chickweed are Ascorbic-acid, Beta-carotene, Calcium,

Coumarins, Genistein, Gamma-linolenic-acid, Flavonoids, Hentriacontanol, Magnesium, Niacin,

Oleic-acid, Potassium, Riboflavin, Rutin, Selenium, Triterpenoid saponins, Thiamin, and

Zinc. The whole plant is used in alternative medicine as an astringent, carminative,

demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, refrigerant, vulnerary. A decoction of the

whole plant is taken internally as a post-partum depurative, emmenagogue, galactogogue and

circulatory tonic. It is also used to relieve constipation, an infusion of the dried herb

is used in coughs and hoarseness, and is beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints.

as an astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, refrigerant,

vulnerary. A decoction of the whole plant is taken internally as a post-partum depurative,

emmenagogue, galactogogue and circulatory tonic. It is also used to relieve constipation,

an infusion of the dried herb is used in coughs and hoarseness, and is beneficial in the

treatment of kidney complaints. New research indicates it's use as an effective

antihistamine. The decoction is also used externally to treat rheumatic pains, wounds and

ulcers. It can be applied as a medicinal poultice and will relieve any kind of roseola and

is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins or itching skin conditions.

Curled Dock

Curled Dock (Rumex crispus), also known as Curly Dock, Yellow Dock, Sour Dock, Narrow Dock,

sometimes as "narrow-leaved dock" (which properly refers to a variant of Sorrel), and

ambiguously as "garden patience", is a perennial flowering plant in the family

Polygonaceae, native to Europe and Western Asia.

The mature plant is a reddish brown colour, and produces a stalk that grows to about 1 m

high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a large basal rosette, with distinctive waved

or curled edges. On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems,

with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in

the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water

and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds to spread to new

locations.[1] The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot.

Curled Dock grows in roadsides, all types of fields, and low-maintenance crops. It prefers

rich, moist and heavy soils.
[edit] Distribution

Curled Dock is a widespread naturalised species throughout the temperate world, which has

become a serious invasive species in many areas, including throughout North America,

southern South America, New Zealand and parts of Australia. It spreads through the seeds

contaminating crop seeds, and sticking to clothing. It is designated an "injurious weed"

under the UK Weeds Act 1959.[2] It is often seen in disturbed soils at the edges of

roadsides, railway beds, and car parks.
[edit] Uses and toxicity

It can be used as a wild leaf vegetable; the young leaves should be boiled in several

changes of water to remove as much of the oxalic acid in the leaves as possible, or can be

added directly to salads in moderate amounts.[3] Once the plant matures it becomes too

bitter to consume. Dock leaves are an excellent source of both vitamin A and protein, and

are rich in iron and potassium. Curly Dock leaves are somewhat tart due to the presence of

high levels of oxalic acid, and although quite palatable, this plant should only be

consumed in moderation as it can irritate the urinary tract and increase the risk of

developing kidney stones.

The roots have also been used medicinally as an astringent, tonic, and laxative. Compounds

contained in the plant's roots have been clinically verified to bind with heavy metals such

as lead and arsenic and expel them from the body by stimulating biliary function in the

liver. The plant is considered a highly effective blood cleanser and is used by herbalists

to assist the body in eliminating heavy metals and to treat other hepatic disorders



Taraxacum (pronounced /təˈræksəkʉm/) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family

Asteraceae. They are native to Eurasia and North America, and two species, T. officinale

and T. erythrospermum, are found as weeds worldwide.[1] Both species are edible in their

entirety.[2] The common name dandelion (pronounced /ˈdændɨlaɪ.ən/ DAN-di-lye-ən, from

French dent-de-lion, meaning lion's tooth) is given to members of the genus, and like other

members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a

composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. Many Taraxacum

species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without

pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant.[

The species of Taraxacum are tap-rooted biennial or perennial herbaceous plants, native to

temperate areas of the Old World.

The leaves are 5–25 cm long or longer, simple and basal, entire or lobed, forming a rosette

above the central taproot. The flower heads are yellow to orange colored, and are open in

the daytime but closed at night. The heads are borne singly on a hollow stem (scape) that

rises 1–10 cm or more[4] above the leaves and exudes a milky sap (latex) when broken. A

rosette may produce several flowering stems at a time. The flower heads are 2–5 cm in

diameter and consists entirely of ray florets. The flower heads mature into a spherical

"clocks"[5] containing many single-seeded fruits called achenes. Each achene is attached to

a pappus of fine hairs, which enable wind-aided dispersal over long distances.

The flower head is surrounded by bracts (sometimes mistakenly called sepals) in two series.

The inner bracts are erect until the seeds mature, then flex downward to allow the seeds to

disperse; the outer bracts are always reflexed downward. Some species drop the "parachute"

from the achenes; the hair-like parachutes are called pappus, and they are modified sepals.

Between the pappus and the achene, there is a stalk called a beak, which elongates as the

fruit matures. The beak breaks off from the achene quite easily, separating the seed from

the parachute.
[edit] Seed dispersal

A number of species of Taraxacum are seed dispersed ruderals that rapidly colonize

disturbed soil, especially the Common dandelion (T. officinale), which has been introduced

over much of the temperate world. After flowering is finished, the dandelion flower head

dries out for a day or two. The dried petals and stamens drop off, the bracts reflex (curve

backwards), and the parachute ball opens into a full sphere. Finally, the seed-bearing

parachutes expand and lift out of it. The parachute drops off the achene when it strikes an

obstacle[citation needed]. After the seed is released, the parachutes lose their feathered

structure and take on a fuzzy, cotton-like appearance, often called "dandelion

snow"[citation needed].
[edit] False dandelions
Hawksbeard flower heads and ripe seeds are sometimes confused with Dandelions.

Dandelions are so similar to catsears (Hypochaeris) that catsears are also known as "false

dandelions". Both plants carry similar flowers, which form into windborne seeds. However,

dandelion flowers are borne singly on unbranched, hairless and leafless, hollow stems,

while catsear flowering stems are branched, solid and carry bracts. Both plants have a

basal rosette of leaves and a central taproot. However, the leaves of dandelions are smooth

or glabrous, whereas those of catsears are coarsely hairy.

Other plants with superficially similar flowers include hawkweeds (Hieracium) and

hawksbeards (Crepis). These are readily distinguished by branched flowering stems, which

are usually hairy and bear leaves.
[edit] Classification

The genus is taxonomically complex, with some botanists dividing the group into about 34

macrospecies, and about 2000 microspecies;[6] approximately 235 apomictic and polyploid

microspecies have been recorded in Great Britain and Ireland.[7] Some botanists take a much

narrower view and only accept a total of about 60 species.[6]
[edit] Selected species

    * Taraxacum albidum, a white-flowering Japanese dandelion.
    * Taraxacum californicum, the endangered California dandelion
    * Taraxacum japonicum, Japanese dandelion. No ring of smallish, downward-turned leaves

under the flowerhead.
    * Taraxacum kok-saghyz, Russian dandelion, which produces rubber[8]
    * Taraxacum laevigatum, Red-seeded Dandelion; achenes reddish brown and leaves deeply

cut throughout length. Inner bracts' tips are hooded.
          o Taraxacum erythrospermum, often considered a variety of Taraxacum

    * Taraxacum officinale (syn. T. officinale subsp. vulgare), Common Dandelion. Found in

many forms.

[edit] Cultivars

    * 'Amélioré à Coeur Plein' - Yields an abundant crop without taking up much ground, and

tends to blanch itself naturally, due to its clumping growth habit.
    * 'Broad Leaved' - The leaves are thick and tender and easily blanched. In rich soils

they can be up to 60 cm wide. Plants do not go to seed as quickly as French types.
    * 'Vert de Montmagny'- Long dark green leaves, some find them mild enough to be

palatable without blanching. Vigorous and productive.[10]

[edit] History
Wiki letter w cropped.svg     This section requires expansion.

Dandelions are thought to have evolved about thirty million years ago in Eurasia;[11] they

have been used by humans for food and as a herb for much of recorded history[citation

needed]. They were introduced to North America by early European immigrants.
[edit] Origin of the names

The Latin name taraxacum has its origin in medieval Arabic writings on pharamacy. Al-Razi

around 900 (A.D.) wrote "the tarashaquq is like chicory". Ibn Sīnā around 1000 (A.D.) wrote

a book chapter on taraxacum. Gerard of Cremona, in translating Arabic to Latin around 1170,

spelled it tarasacon.[12]

The English name dandelion is a corruption of the French dent de lion[13] meaning "lion's

tooth", referring to the coarsely toothed leaves. The names of the plant have the same

meaning in several other European languages, such as the Welsh dant y llew, Italian dente

di leone, Catalan dent de lleó, Spanish diente de león, Portuguese dente-de-leão,Norwegian

Løvetann, Danish Løvetand and German Löwenzahn.

In modern French the plant is named pissenlit, (or pisse au lit Fr vernacular).[14]

Likewise, "piss-a-bed" is an English folk-name for this plant,[15] as is piscialletto in

Italian and the Spanish meacamas.[citation needed] These names refer to the strong diuretic

effect of the roots of the herb,[15] roasted or raw/fresh. In various north-eastern Italian

dialects the plant is known as pisacan ("dog pisses"), referring to how common they are

found at the side of pavements.[16]

In France it is also known as Laitue de Chien (Dog's lettuce); Salade de Taupe (Mole's

salad or Brown salad), Florin d'Or (Golden florin); Cochet (Cockerel); Fausse Chicorée

(False Chicory); Couronne de moine (Monk's crown); Baraban.[14]

In several European languages the plant, or at least its parachute ball stage, is named

after the popular children's pastime of blowing the parachutes off the stalk: Pusteblume

German for "blowing flower"), soffione (Italian for "blowing"; in some northern Italian

dialects),[16] dmuchawiec (Polish, derived from the verb "blow"), одуванчик (Russian,

derived from the verb "blow").[citation needed]

In other languages the plant is named after the white sap found in its stem, e.g. Mlecz

(derived from the Polish word for "milk"), mælkebøtte (Danish for "milk pot") kutyatej

(Hungarian for "dog milk"), маслачак (derived from the Serbian word маслац, meaning

"butter").[citation needed] Also the Lithuanian name kiaulpienė can be translated as "sow

milk"[citation needed], and similarly, in Latvian it is called 'pienene, the word being

derived from piens - milk[citation needed].

The alternative Hungarian name gyermekláncfű ("child's chain grass"), refers to the habit

of children to pick dandelions, remove the flowers, and make links out of the stems by

"plugging" the narrow top end of the stem into the wider bottom end.[citation needed] In

Macedonian, it's called глуварче, stemming from the word глув, which means deaf, because of

a traditional belief that says that if a dandelion parachute gets in your ear, you might

become deaf. In Turkish the dandelion is called karahindiba meaning "black

endive".[citation needed] While the root flesh is white colored, the outer skin of the root

is dark brown or black. In Swedish, it is called maskros ("worm rose", named after the

small insects (thrips) usually present in the flowers).[17] In Finnish and Estonian, it is

called voikukka and võilill, respectively, meaning "butter flower", referring to its

buttery colour.[citation needed] In Dutch it is called paardenbloem, meaning

"horse-flower".[citation needed] In Chinese it is called pú gōng yīng (蒲公英), meaning flower

that grows in public spaces by the riverside.[citation needed] In Japanese, it is tanpopo (

[edit] Properties and Uses
[edit] Beneficial but often unappreciated weed
A tall specimen, at 85 centimetres (33 in)

The dandelion plant is a beneficial weed, with a wide range of uses, and is even a good

companion plant for gardening, but is often thought of solely as "bad". It has been

described as "a plant for which we once knew the use but we've forgotten it".[18]

Homeowners or hired lawn-keepers often control dandelions with herbicides, and

counter-efforts against herbicide use can create social friction in residential

neighborhoods.[19] However, its ability to break up hard earth with its deep tap root,

bringing up nutrients from below the reach of other plants, makes it a good companion for

weaker or shallower-rooted crops. It is also known to attract pollinating insects and

release ethylene gas which helps fruit to ripen.[20]
[edit] Culinary use

Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A,

C and K, and are good sources of calcium (0.19% net weight), potassium (0.4% net weight)

and fair amounts of iron and manganese,[21] higher than similar leafy greens such as

spinach. They contain 15% protein and 73% carbohydrates, 37% of which is fiber (27% of the

leaves are fiber).[22] The leaves also contain smaller amounts of over two dozen other

nutrients, and are a significant source of beta carotene (0.03% net weight), lutein and

zeaxanthin (combined 0.066% net weight).[23] A cup of dandelion leaves contains 112% daily

recommendation of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, and 535% of vitamin K and 218 mg potassium,

103 mg calcium, and 1.7 mg of iron. Dandelions are also an excellent source of vitamin H,

which aids weight loss when ingested.[citation needed]

Dandelion flowers contain luteolin, an antioxidant, and have demonstrated antioxidant

properties without cytotoxicity.[24][25]

Dandelion contains Caffeic acid, as a secondary plant metabolite, which some studies show

to exhibit anticarcinogenic properties[26][27] at low doses but carcinogenic properties at

high doses.[28] There have been no known ill effects of caffeic acid in humans.[29][30]

Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Mediterranean (especially

Sephardic[31][32][33]) and Asian, most notably Chinese and Korean cuisine.[34][35] In

Crete, Greece, a variety called Mari (Μαρί), Mariaki (Μαριάκι) or Koproradiko

(Κοπροράδικο), has its leaves eaten raw or boiled in salads by the locals. Another endemic

species of Crete, which is found only at high altitudes (1000 to 1600 m.) and in fallow

sites, called pentaramia (πενταράμια) or agrioradiko (αγριοράδικο) and which has been named

Taraxacum megalorhizon by Prof. Michalis Damanakis of the Botanics Department of the

University of Crete, has its leaves eaten raw or boiled in salads by the locals.[36]

The flower petals, along with other ingredients, are used to make dandelion wine. The

roasted, ground roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee.
[edit] Medicinal uses

Dandelions, flowers, roots and leaves, have been used for centuries in traditional medicine

& medicinal teas, most notably for liver detoxification, as a natural diuretic and for

inflammation reduction[citation needed]. Unlike other diuretics, dandelion leaves contain

potassium, a mineral that is often lost during increased urination. There is also evidence

that this property of dandelion leaves may normalize blood sugar.[37]

Dandelion leaves are believed to have a diuretic effect as they increase salt and water

excretion from the kidneys.[38]
[edit] Bees

Dandelions are important plants for northern hemisphere bees. Not only is their flowering

used as an indicator that the honey bee season is starting,[citation needed] but they are

also an important source of nectar and pollen early in the season.[39] Dandelion pollen is

a common allergen and a common component in bee pollen.[40] This allergen may be commonly

responsible for asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis and contact dermatitis

in sensitive individuals.
[edit] Butterflies

Dandelions are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera

(butterflies and moths). See List of Lepidoptera that feed on dandelions. They are also

used as a source of nectar by the Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne), one of

the earliest emerging butterflies in the spring.
[edit] Culture

Four dandelion flowers are the emblem of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.[41] The

citizens celebrate spring with an annual Dandelion Festival.

The dandelion is the official flower of the University of Rochester and "Dandelion Yellow"

is one of the school's official colors. The Dandelion Yellow is an official University of

Rochester song.[42]

At the time of blooming, crowns are made from dandelions by some children and adults.[43]

Occasionally, Japanese horticulturists grow the dandelions.


Field Pennycress

Thlaspi arvense L.
Other names: Stinkweed
Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard
Genus: Thlaspi

Plant height: 10-50 cm tall.
Growth habit: erect annual.
Stems: simple to freely branched, leafy, hairless.
Leaves: mostly alternate, oblanceolate, 2-6 cm long,
the lower strongly wavy-margined to almost lobed, with
larger end lobe, narrowed to a short stalk. Leaves farther
up becoming stalkless, with ear-shaped lobes at base.
Basal leaves few, withering by flowering time.
Flowers: white, in open clusters on branches, with
4 petals 3-4 mm long and sepals 1.5-2.2 mm long.
Flowering time: May-August.
Fruits: pods strongly flattened, oval or heart-shaped,
shallowly notched, 10-17 mm long, with winged edge all
around, the notch 1.5-2.5 mm deep. Stalks slender,
spreading to upcurved, 7-15 mm long. Style almost
lacking, 0.1-0.2 mm long. Seeds about 2 mm long, not
edged, wrinkled lengthwise.

Common weed on disturbed ground in all parts of MT.
Introduced from Europe, now spread across N. America.
Edible uses:
Young leaves of field pennycress were used for food by the Cherokee Indians. Even the young

leaves have a somewhat bitter flavor and aroma, and has been added in small quantities to

salads and other foods. However, this plant is not recommended to use for food because its

toxic properties, see below.

The plant contains sufficient quantities of glucosinolates to be toxic. During dry periods,

cattle in western Canada have ingested hay containing high quantities of stinkweed, or

field pennycress. Poisoning, death and abortion occurred. Tests of field pennycress showed

that the allylthiocyanate (a glucosinolate) content is sufficient to cause sickness and

death in cattle. Fatalities occurred at about 65 mg/kg of body weight. The amount of this

chemical varies with the stage of maturity of the plant, the highest amount is in the

seeds. Cattle that ingested hay containing between 25-100% field pennycress were colicky

and some abortions occurred. Ensiling hay containing field pennycress apparently prevented

liberation of allylthiocyanate.

Medicinal uses:
The entire plant is anti-inflammatory and acts as a blood tonic and blood purifier. It has

agents that induces sweating, agents that induces the removal (coughing up) of mucous

secretions from the lungs. It is fever-reducing and promotes the well-being of the liver

and increases the secretion of bile. The seed is a tonic. Both the seed and the young

shoots are said to be good for the eyes. The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine and are

considered to have an acrid taste and a cooling potency. They are anti-inflammatory and

fever-reducing, and are used in the treatment of pus in the lungs, renal inflammation,

appendicitis, seminal and vaginal discharges. Field pennycress was used medicinally by the

Iroquois Indians. They made an infusion of the plant taken for sore throats. Pennycress

also has a broad antibacterial activity, effective against the growth of staphylococci and


Other uses:
Seed of field pennycress might be useful for making biodiesel (it is 36 to 40 percent oil

by weight) and a nature-based weed killer. The seed oil can be used for lighting.


Epilobium angustifolium, commonly known as Fireweed (mainly in North America), Great

Willow-herb (Canada)[1], or Rosebay Willowherb (mainly in Britain), is a perennial

herbaceous plant in the willowherb family Onagraceae. It is native throughout the temperate

Northern Hemisphere, including large parts of the boreal forests.

Some botanists distinguish the species from other willowherbs into either of the genera

Chamaenerion or Chamerion, on the basis of its spiral (rather than opposite or whorled)

leaf arrangement, but this feature (which occurs also to a greater or lesser extent in some

other willowherbs) is not of marked taxonomic significance.

Two subspecies are recognized as valid:

    * Epilobium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium
    * Epilobium angustifolium ssp. circumvagum

This herb is often abundant in wet calcareous to slightly acidic soils in open fields,

pastures, and particularly burned-over lands; the name Fireweed derives from the species'

abundance as a coloniser on burnt sites after forest fires. Its tendency to quickly

colonize open areas with little competition, such as sites of forest fires and forest

clearings, makes it a clear example of a pioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as

there is open space and plenty of light, as trees and brush grow larger the plants die out,

but the seeds remain viable in the soil seed bank for many years, when a new fire or other

disturbance occurs that opens up the ground to light again the seeds germinate. Some areas

with heavy seed counts in the soil, after burning, can be covered with pure dense stands of

this species and when in flower the landscape is turned into fields of color.

In Britain the plant was considered a rare species in the 18th century,[2] and one confined

to a few locations with damp, gravelly soils. It was mis-identified as Great Hairy

Willowherb in contemporary floras. The plant's rise from local rarity to widespread weed

seems to have occurred at the same time as the expansion of the railway network, and the

associated soil disturbance. The plant became locally known as bombweed due to its rapid

colonization of bomb craters in the second world war.[2]
Fireweed (drawing)

The reddish stems of this herbaceous perennial are usually simple, erect, smooth, 0.5–2.5 m

(1½–8 feet) high with scattered alternate leaves. The leaves are entire, lanceolate, and

pinnately veined. A relative species, Dwarf Fireweed (Epilobium latifolium), grows to

0.3–0.6 m tall.

The radially symmetrical flowers have four magenta to pink petals, 2 to 3 cm in diameter.

The styles have four stigmas, which occur in symmetrical terminal racemes.

The reddish-brown linear seed capsule splits from the apex. It bears many minute brown

seeds, about 300 to 400 per capsule and 80,000 per plant. The seeds have silky hairs to aid

wind dispersal and are very easily spread by the wind, often becoming a weed and a dominant

species on disturbed ground. Once established, the plants also spread extensively by

underground roots, an individual plant eventually forming a large patch.

The leaves of fireweed are unique in that the leaf veins are circular and do not terminate

on the edges of the leaf, but form circular loops and join together inside the outer leaf

margins. This feature makes the plants very easy to identify in all stages of growth. When

fireweed first emerges in early spring, it can closely resemble several highly toxic

members of the lily family, however, it is easily identified by its unique leaf vein

[edit] Uses

The young shoots were often collected in the spring by Native American people and mixed

with other greens. They are best when young and tender; as the plant matures the leaves

become tough and somewhat bitter. The southeast Native Americans use the stems in the

stage. They are peeled and eaten raw. When properly prepared soon after picking they are a

good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. The Dena'ina add fireweed to their dogs' food.

Fireweed is also a medicine of the Upper Inlet Dena'ina, who treat pus-filled boils or cuts

by placing a piece of the raw stem on the afflicted area. This is said to draw the pus out

of the cut or boil and prevents a cut with pus in it from healing over too quickly.
A flowering fireweed plant

The root can be roasted after scraping off the outside, but often tastes bitter. To

mitigate this, the root is collected before the plant flowers and the brown thread in the

middle removed.

In Alaska, candies, syrups, jellies, and even ice cream are made from fireweed. Monofloral

honey made primarily from fireweed nectar has a distinctive, spiced flavor.

In Russia, its leaves were often used as tea substitute and were even exported, known in

Western Europe as Kapor tea. Fireweed leaves can undergo fermentation, much like real tea.

Today, Kapor tea is still occasionally consumed though not commercially important.
[edit] In habitat restoration

Because fireweed can colonize disturbed sites, even following an old oil spill, it is often

used to reestablish vegetation. It grows in (and is native to) a variety of temperate to

arctic ecosystems. Although it is also grown as an ornamental plant, some may find it too

aggressive in that context.[3]


Portulaca oleracea (Common Purslane, also known as Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed or

Pusley), is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which can reach 40 cm in

height. About 40 varieties are currently cultivated.[1] It has an extensive old-world

distribution extending from North Africa through the Middle East and the Indian

Subcontinent to Malesia and Australasia. The species status in the New World is uncertain:

it is generally considered an exotic weed; however, there is evidence that the species was

in Crawford Lake deposits (Ontario) in 1430-89 AD, suggesting that it reached North America

in the pre-Columbian era.[2] It is naturalised elsewhere and in some regions is considered

an invasive weed. It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and alternate leaves

clustered at stem joints and ends. The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are up to

6 mm wide. The flowers appear depending upon rainfall and may occur year round. The flowers

open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings. Seeds

are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are ready. Purslane has a taproot with

fibrous secondary roots and is able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought.
Culinary usage
A Purslane cultivar grown as a vegetable

Although purslane is considered a weed in the United States, it can be eaten as a leaf

vegetable. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe,

Asia and Mexico.[1][3] The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane can be

used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach, and because of its mucilaginous

quality it is also suitable for soups and stews. Australian Aborigines use the seeds to

make seedcakes. Greeks, who call it andrakla (αντράκλα) or glystrida (γλυστρίδα), fry the

leaves and the stems with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano and olive oil.

Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular[4]) than any

other leafy vegetable plant. Simopoulos states that Purslane has 0.01 mg/g of

eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for land based

vegetable sources. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid normally found mostly in fish, some algae

and flax seeds.[5] It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin

B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and

iron. Also present are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins

(visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the

flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are

potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory


100 grams of fresh purslane leaves (about 1 cup) contain 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic

acid.[7] One cup of cooked leaves contains 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and more

than 2,000 IUs of vitamin A. One half cup of purslane leaves contains as much as 910 mg of

oxalate, a compound implicated in the formation of kidney stones. However, note that many

common vegetables, such as spinach, also can contain high concentrations of oxalates.

When stressed by low availability of water, purslane, which has evolved in hot and dry

environments, switches to photosynthesis using Crassulacean acid metabolism (the CAM

pathway): at night its leaves trap carbon dioxide, which is converted into malic acid (the

souring principle of apples), and in the day, the malic acid is converted into glucose.

When harvested in the early morning, the leaves have 10 times the malic acid content as

when harvested in the late afternoon, and thus have a significantly more tangy taste.
[edit] Medicinal usage
Portulaca oleracea showing blooms.
Seed pods, closed and open, revealing the seeds.

Known as Ma Chi Xian (pinyin: translates literally as "horse tooth amaranth") in

Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is used to treat infections or bleeding of the

genito-urinary tract as well as dysentery. The fresh herb may also be applied topically to

relieve sores and insect or snake bites on the skin.[8] Eating purslane can dramatically

reduce oral lichen planus.[9]
[edit] Companion plant

As a companion plant, Purslane provides ground cover to create a humid microclimate for

nearby plants, stabilizing ground moisture. Its deep roots bring up moisture and nutrients

that those plants can use, and some, including corn, will "follow" purslane roots down

through harder soil than they can penetrate on their own. It is known as a beneficial weed

in places that don't already grow it as a crop in its own right.

Sheep Sorrel

Rumex acetosella is a species of sorrel bearing the common names sheep's sorrel, red

sorrel, sour weed, and field sorrel. The plant and its subspecies are common perennial

weeds. It has green arrowhead-shaped leaves and red-tinted deeply ridged stems, and it

sprouts from an aggressive rhizome. The flowers emerge from a tall, upright stem. Female

flowers are maroon in color.

[edit] Growth

The plant is native to Eurasia but has been introduced to most of the rest of the northern

hemisphere. In North America it is a common weed in fields, grasslands, and woodlands. It

favors moist soil, so it thrives in floodplains and near marshes. It is often one of the

first species to take hold in disturbed areas, such as abandoned mining sites, especially

if the soil is acidic. Livestock will graze on the plant, but it is not very nutritious and

contains oxalates which make the plant toxic if grazed in large amounts.

R. acetosella is a host plant for Lycaena phlaeas, also known as the American Copper or

Small Copper butterfly.
[edit] Characteristics

R. acetosella is a perennial herb that has an upright stem that is slender and reddish in

color, and branched at top, reaching a height of 18 inches (0.5 meters). The arrow-shaped

leaves are simple, slightly more than 1 inch (3 cm) in length, and smooth with a pair of

horizontal lobes at base. Flowers from March to November, when yellowish-green flowers

(male) or reddish (female) flowers develop on separate plants, at the apex of the stem.

Fruits are red achenes.

Sheep's sorrel is widely considered to be a noxious weed, and one that is hard to control

due to its spreading rhizome. Blueberry farmers are familiar with the weed, due to its

ability to thrive in the same conditions under which blueberries are cultivated. It is

commonly considered by farmers as an Indicator plant of the need for liming.
[edit] Culinary Uses

There are several uses of sheep sorrel in the preparation of food including a garnish, a

tart flavoring agent and a curdling agent for cheese. The leaves have a lemony, tangy or

nicely tart flavor. You can put the leaves in a salad.
[edit] Medicinal uses
    This section is missing citations or needs footnotes. Please help add inline

citations to guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies. (November 2010)

Sheep Sorrel contains constituents including beta carotene, tartaric acid, oxalates (oxalic

acid), anthraquinones (chrysophanol, emodin, Rhein), glycosides like hyperoside, the


It has a number of purported uses and folk remedies that include treatment for

inflammation, cancer, diarrhea, scurvy and fever. A tea made from the stem and leaves can

be made to act as a diuretic. It also has certain astringent properties and uses. Other

historical uses include that of a vermifuge, as the plant allegedly contains compounds

toxic to intestinal parasites (worms).

The entire plant, including the root, is used as a cancer treatment,[citation needed] and

is a primary ingredient in a preparation commonly referred to by the name Essiac.

White Mustard

White mustard (Sinapis alba) is an annual plant of the family Brassicaceae. It is sometimes

also referred to as Brassica alba or B hirta . Grown for its seeds, mustard, as fodder crop

or as a green manure, it is now wide spread worldwide although it probably originated in

the Mediterranean region.

    * 1 Culinary uses
    * 2 See also
    * 3 References
    * 4 External links

[edit] Culinary uses

The yellow flowers of the plant produce hairy seed pods, with each pod containing roughly a

half dozen seeds. These seeds are harvested just prior to the pods becoming ripe and


White mustard seeds are hard round seeds, usually around 1 to 1.5 millimetres in

diameter[1], with a color ranging from beige or yellow to light brown. They can be used

whole for pickling or toasted for use in dishes. When ground and mixed with other

ingredients, a paste or more standard condiment can be produced.

The seeds contain sinalbin, which is a thioglycoside responsible for their pungent taste.

White mustard has fewer volatile oils and the flavor is considered to be milder than that

produced by black mustard seeds.[citation needed]

In Greece, the plant's leaves can be eaten during the winter, before it blooms. Greeks call

it "vrouves" or "lapsana".

The blooming season of this plant (February-March) is celebrated with the Mustard Festival,

a series of festivities in the Wine Country of California (Napa and Sonoma counties)


Wood Sorrel

Common Wood-sorrel is a plant from the genus Oxalis, common in most of Europe and parts of

Asia. The binomial name is Oxalis acetosella, because of its sour taste. In much of its

range it is the only member of its genus and hence simply known as "the" wood-sorrel.

The plant has heart-shaped leaves, folded through the middle, that occur in groups of three

atop a reddish brown stalk. It flowers for a few months during the spring, with small white

flowers with pink streaks. Red or violet flowers also occur rarely.During the night or when

it rains both flowers and leaves contract.

Wood sorrel has been eaten by humans for millennia. In Dr. James Duke's "Handbook of Edible

Weeds," he notes that the Kiowa Indian tribe chewed wood sorrel to alleviate thirst on long

trips, that the Potawatomi Indians cooked it with sugar to make a dessert, the Algonquin

Indians considered it an aphrodisiac, the Cherokee tribe ate wood sorrel to alleviate mouth

sores and a sore throat, and the Iroquois ate wood sorrel to help with cramps, fever and

nausea.[1] Wood sorrel, like spinach and broccoli, contains oxalic acid which is considered

slightly toxic because it interferes with food digestion and the absorption of some trace

minerals. However, the U.S. National Institutes of Health have determined that the negative

effects of oxalic acid are generally of little or no nutritional consequence in persons who

eat a variety of foods.[2] An oxalate called "sal acetosella" was formerly extracted from

the plant, through boiling.

The "Common wood sorrel" of North America is Oxalis montana, found from New England and

Nova Scotia to Wisconsin and Manitoba and more unambiguously known as Mountain Wood-sorrel.

It is similar to the species described above, but the petals are noticeably notched. It is

called sours in the Northeast US.

The common wood sorrel is sometimes referred to as a shamrock (due to its three-leaf

clover-like motif) and given as a gift on St. Patrick's Day.


Arrowhead root

Botanical: Sagittaria sagittifolia (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Alismaceae
The Alismaceae group of plants in general contain acrid juices, on account of which, a

number of species, besides the Water Plantain, have been used as diuretics and


Several species of Sagittaria, natives of Brazil, are astringent and their expressed juice

has been used in making ink.

The rhizome of Sagittaria sagittifolia (Linn.), the Arrowhead, Wapatoo, and S. Chinensis

(Is'-ze-kn) are used respectively by the North American Indians and the Chinese as starchy

foods, as are some other species.

The Arrowhead is a water plant widely distributed in Europe and Northern Asia, as well as

North America, and abundant in many parts of England, though only naturalized in Scotland.

The stem is swollen at the base and throws out creeping stolons or runners, which produce

globose winter tubers, 1/2 inch in diameter, composed almost entirely of starch.

The leaves are borne on triangular stalks that vary in length with the depth of the water

in which the plant is growing. They do not lie on the water, like those of the Water Lily,

but stand boldly above it. They are large and arrow-shaped and very glossy. The early,

submerged leaves are ribbonlike.

The flower-stem rises directly from the root and bears several rings of buds and blossoms,

three in each ring or whorl, and each flower composed of three outer sepals and three

large, pure white petals, with a purple blotch at their base. The upper flowers are

stamen-bearing, the lower ones generally contain the seed vessels only.

The root tubers are about the size of a small walnut. They grow just below the surface of

the mud. The Chinese and Japanese cultivate the plant for the sake of these tubercles,

which are eaten as an article of wholesome food. Bryant, in Flora Dietetica, writes of

    'I cured some of the bulbs of this plant in the same manner that saloop is cured, when

they acquired a sort of pellucidness, and on boiling afterwards, they broke into a

gelatinous meal and tasted like old peas boiled.'

The tubers, it has been stated, may also be eaten in the raw state.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Diuretic and antiscorbutic. 


Daylily is the common name of the species, hybrids and cultivars of the genus Hemerocallis

(pronounced /ˌhɛmɨroʊˈkælɪs/).[1] The flowers of these plants are highly diverse in colour

and form, often resulting from hybridization by gardening enthusiasts. Thousands of

registered cultivars are appreciated and studied by international Hemerocallis

societies.[2] Once considered part of the Liliaceae family, such as Lilium (true lilies),

the genus name was given to the family Hemerocallidaceae in later circumscriptions.
Daylilies are perennial plants. The name Hemerocallis comes from the Greek words ἡμέρα

(hēmera) "day" and καλός (kalos) "beautiful". The flowers of most species open at sunrise

and wither at sunset, possibly replaced by another one on the same stem the next day. Some

species are night-blooming. Daylilies are not commonly used as cut flowers for formal

flower arranging, yet they make good cut flowers otherwise as new flowers continue to open

on cut stems over several days.

Originally native from Europe to China, Korea, and Japan, their large showy flowers have

made them popular worldwide. There are over 60,000 registered cultivars. Only a few

cultivars are scented, scented cultivars are appearing more frequently in northern

hybridization however. Some cultivars rebloom later in the season, particularly if their

developing seedpods are removed.

Daylilies occur as a clump including leaves, the crown, and the roots. The long, often

linear lanceolate leaves are grouped into opposite flat fans with leaves arching out to

both sides. The crown of a daylily is the small white portion between the leaves and the

roots, an essential part of the fan. Along the flower stem or scape, small leafy

"proliferations" may form at nodes or in bracts. These proliferations form roots when

planted and are the exact clones of the parent plant. Some daylilies show elongated

widenings along the roots, made by the plant mostly for water storage and an indication of

good health.

The flower consists of three petals and three sepals, collectively called tepals, each with

a midrib in the same or in a contrasting color. The centermost section of the flower,

called the throat, has usually a different and contrasting color. There are six (sometimes

seven) stamens, each with a two-lobed anther. After pollination, the flower forms a pod.

The common Daylily has potential to become a noxious weed and is listed as such by the

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.[3] While sometimes planted due to their ease of

growth and the fact that they produce a flower, non-clumping varieties of daylily can

quickly overrun a garden. Once established, it is difficult to remove runner daylilies from

the yard.
[edit] Cultivars
'Kwanzo' – a triple-flowered triploid cultivar

Daylilies can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 1 through 11, making them some of the

most adaptable landscape plants. Most of the cultivars have been developed within the last

100 years. The large-flowered clear yellow 'Hyperion', introduced in the 1920s, heralded a

return to gardens of the once-dismissed daylily, and is still widely available. Daylily

breeding has been a specialty in the United States, where their heat- and

drought-resistance made them garden standbys during the later 20th century. New cultivars

have sold for thousands of dollars, but sturdy and prolific introductions soon reach

reasonable prices.

The Tawny Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva), and sweet-scented H. lilioasphodelus (H. flava is

an illegitimate name), colloquially called Lemon Lily, were early imports from England to

17th century American gardens and soon established themselves. Tawny Daylily is so widely

growing wild that it is often considered a native wildflower. It is called Roadside or

Railroad Daylily, and gained the nickname Wash-house or Outhouse Lily because it was

frequently planted at such buildings.

Hemerocallis is one of the most hybridized of all garden plants, with registrations of new

hybrids being made in the thousands each year in the search for new traits. Hybridizers

have extended the plant's color range from the yellow, orange, and pale pink of the

species, to vibrant reds, purples, lavenders, greenish tones, near-black, near-white, and

more. However, a blue daylily is a milestone yet to be reached.
Common Tawny Daylily

Other flower traits that hybridizers develop include height, scent, ruffled edges,

contrasting "eyes" in the center of the bloom, and an illusion of glitter or "diamond

dust." Sought-after improvements in foliage include color, variegation, disease resistance,

and the ability to form large, neat clumps. Hybridizers also seek to make less hardy plants

hardier in the North by breeding evergreen or semi-evergreen plants with those that become

dormant. All daylilies are herbaceous perennials – some are evergreen or semi-evergreen

while some go dormant in winter, losing their foliage. Although, there are a number of

northern hybridizers that specialize in the advancements of the dormant daylily.

A recent trend in hybridizing is to focus on tetraploid plants, with thicker petal

substance and sturdier stems. Until this trend took root, nearly all daylilies were

diploid. "Tets," as they are called by aficionados, have double the number of chromosomes

as a diploid plant.[4] Hemerocallis fulva 'Europa', H. fulva 'Kwanso', H. fulva 'Kwanso

Variegata,' H. fulva 'Kwanso Kaempfer,' H. fulva var. maculata, H. fulva var. angustifolia

,and H. fulva 'Flore Pleno' are all triplods that cannot set seed and are reproduced solely

by underground runners (stolons) and division. Usually referred to as a "double," meaning

producing flowers with double the usual number of petals (e.g., daylily 'Double Grapette'),

'Kwanzo' actually produces triple the usual number of petals.
[edit] Culinary use
Dried golden needles

The flowers of some species are edible and are used in Chinese cuisine. They are sold

(fresh or dried) in Asian markets as gum jum or golden needles (金针 in Chinese; pinyin:

jīnzhēn) or yellow flower vegetables (黃花菜 in Chinese; pinyin: huánghuācài). They are used

in hot and sour soup, daylily soup (金針花湯), Buddha's delight, and moo shu pork. The young

green leaves and the tubers of some (but not all[citation needed]) species are also edible.

The plant has also been used for medicinal purposes. Care must be used as some species of

lilies can be toxic.


Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle or common nettle, Urtica dioica, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant,

native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best-known member of

the nettle genus Urtica. The plant has many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on its

leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles that inject histamine and other

chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals.[1]

The plant has a long history of use as a medicine and as a food source.

Stinging nettle is a dioecious herbaceous perennial, 1 to 2 m (3 to 7 ft) tall in the

summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It has widely spreading rhizomes and

stolons, which are bright yellow as are the roots. The soft green leaves are 3 to 15 cm (1

to 6 in) long and are borne oppositely on an erect wiry green stem. The leaves have a

strongly serrated margin, a cordate base and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth

longer than adjacent laterals. It bears small greenish or brownish numerous flowers in

dense axillary inflorescences. The leaves and stems are very hairy with non-stinging hairs

and also bear many stinging hairs (trichomes), whose tips come off when touched,

transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals: acetylcholine,

histamine, 5-HT or serotonin, and possibly formic acid.[2][3] This mixture of chemical

compounds cause a painful sting or paresthesia from which the species derives its common

name, as well as the colloquial names burn nettle, burn weed, burn hazel.
[edit] Taxonomy

The taxonomy of stinging nettles has been confused, and older sources are likely to use a

variety of systematic names for these plants. Formerly, more species were recognised than

are now accepted. However, there are at least five clear subspecies, some formerly

classified as separate species:

    * U. dioica subsp. dioica (European stinging nettle). Europe, Asia, northern Africa.
    * U. dioica subsp. galeopsifolia (fen nettle or stingless nettle). Europe. (Sometimes

known as Urtica galeopsifolia)
    * U. dioica subsp. afghanica. Southwestern and central Asia. (Gazaneh in Iran)
    * U. dioica subsp. gansuensis. Eastern Asia (China).
    * U. dioica subsp. gracilis (Ait.) Selander (American stinging nettle). North America.
    * U. dioica subsp. holosericea (Nutt.) Thorne (hairy nettle). North America.

Other species names formerly accepted as distinct by some authors but now regarded as

synonyms of U. dioica include U. breweri, U. californica, U. cardiophylla, U. lyalli, U.

major, U. procera, U. serra, U. strigosissima, U. trachycarpa, and U. viridis. Other

vernacular names include tall nettle, slender nettle, California nettle, jaggy nettle,

burning weed, fire weed and bull nettle (a name shared by Cnidoscolus texanus and Solanum

[edit] Distribution
D. urticaria: close-up of the defensive hairs

Stinging nettles are abundant in northern Europe and much of Asia, usually found in the

countryside. It is less gregarious in southern Europe and north Africa, where it is

restricted by its need for moist soil. In North America it is widely distributed in Canada

and the United States, where it is found in every province and state except for Hawaii and

also can be found in northernmost Mexico. It grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest,

especially in places where annual rainfall is high. In North America the stinging nettle is

far less common than in northern Europe. The European subspecies has been introduced into

North America as well as South America.

In the UK stinging nettles have a strong association with human habitation and buildings.

The presence of nettles may indicate that a building has been long abandoned. Human and

animal waste may be responsible for elevated levels of phosphate and nitrogen in the soil,

providing an ideal environment for stinging nettles.
[edit] Ecology
The Nettle Pouch Gall Dasineura urticae on Urtica dioica

Nettles are the exclusive larval food plant for several species of butterfly, such as the

Peacock Butterfly[4] or the Small Tortoiseshell, and are also eaten by the larvae of some

moths including Angle Shades, Buff Ermine, Dot Moth, The Flame, The Gothic, Grey Chi, Grey

Pug, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Mouse Moth, Setaceous Hebrew Character and

Small Angle Shades. The roots are sometimes eaten by the larva of the Ghost Moth Hepialus

[edit] Medicinal uses
Detail of flowering stinging nettle.
Detail of immature fruits of stinging nettle.

As Old English Stiðe, nettle is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon

Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century. Nettle is believed to be a galactagogue[5]

and a clinical trial has shown that the juice is diuretic in patients with congestive heart

failure[citation needed].

Urtication, or flogging with nettles, is the process of deliberately applying stinging

nettles to the skin in order to provoke inflammation. An agent thus used is known as a

rubefacient (something that causes redness). This is done as a folk remedy for rheumatism,

providing temporary relief from pain.[citation needed] The counter-irritant action to which

this is often attributed can be preserved by the preparation of an alcoholic tincture which

can be applied as part of a topical preparation, but not as an infusion, which drastically

reduces the irritant action.

Extracts can be used to treat arthritis, anemia, hay fever, kidney problems, and

pain.[citation needed]

Nettle leaf is a herb that has a long tradition of use as an adjuvant remedy in the

treatment of arthritis in Germany. Nettle leaf extract contains active compounds that

reduce TNF-α and other inflammatory cytokines.[6][7] It has been demonstrated that nettle

leaf lowers TNF-α levels by potently inhibiting the genetic transcription factor that

activates TNF-α and IL-1B in the synovial tissue that lines the joint.[8]

Nettle is used in hair shampoos to control dandruff and is said to make hair more glossy,

which is why some farmers include a handful of nettles with cattle feed.[9] It is also

thought nettles can ease eczema.

Nettle root extracts have been extensively studied in human clinical trials as a treatment

for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These extracts have been shown to help

relieve symptoms compared to placebo both by themselves and when combined with other herbal


Because it contains 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran, certain extracts of the nettle are used

by bodybuilders in an effort to increase free testosterone by occupying sex-hormone binding


Fresh nettle is used in folk remedies to stop bleeding because of its high Vitamin K

content. Meanwhile, in dry U. dioica, the Vitamin K is practically non-existent and so is

used as a blood thinner.

An extract from the nettle root (Urtica dioica) is used to alleviate symptoms of benign

prostate enlargement. Nettle leaf extract, on the other hand, is what has been shown to

reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-B1.
[edit] Food
A young red-tinted variety of American stinging nettle.

Stinging nettle has a flavour similar to spinach when cooked and is rich in vitamins A, C,

iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Young plants were harvested by Native Americans

and used as a cooked plant in spring when other food plants were scarce.[12] Soaking

nettles in water or cooking will remove the stinging chemicals from the plant, which allows

them to be handled and eaten without incidence of stinging. After Stinging Nettle enters

its flowering and seed setting stages the leaves develop gritty particles called

"cystoliths", which can irritate the urinary tract. [12] In its peak season, stinging

nettle contains up to 25% protein, dry weight, which is high for a leafy green

vegetable.[13] The young leaves are edible and make a very good pot-herb. The leaves are

also dried and may then be used to make a tisane, as can also be done with the nettle's


Nettles can be used in a variety of recipes, such as polenta and pesto. Nettle soup is a

common use of the plant, particularly in Northern and Eastern Europe.

Nettles are sometimes used in cheese making, for example in the production of Yarg[14] and

as a flavouring in varieties of Gouda[15]

In Nepal and in Kumaon region of Northern India, Stinging Nettle is known as Shishnu. It's

a very popular cuisine and cooked with Indian spices.
[edit] Competitive eating

In the UK, an annual Stinging Nettle Eating Championship draws thousands of people to

Dorset, where competitors attempt to eat as much of the raw plant as possible. Competitors

are given 60 cm (20 in) stalks of the plant, from which they strip the leaves and eat them.

Whoever strips and eats the most stinging nettle leaves in a fixed time is the winner. The

competition dates back to 1986, when two neighbouring farmers attempted to settle a dispute

about which had the worst infestation of nettles.[16][17]
[edit] Drink

Nettle cordial is a soft drink made largely from a refined sugar and water solution

flavoured with the leaves of the nettle.[citation needed] Historically it has been popular

in North Western Europe; however, versions of a nettle cordial recipe can be traced back to

Roman times.[citation needed] It is an aromatic syrup, and when mixed with sparkling water,

is very refreshing.

Nettle leaves are steeped in a concentrated sugar solution so the flavour is extracted into

the sugar solution. The leaves are then removed and a source of citric acid (usually lemon

juice) is added to help preserve the cordial and add a tart flavour.

Commercially produced cordials are generally quite concentrated and are usually diluted by

one part cordial to ten parts water – thus a 0.5 litres (0.11 imp gal; 0.13 US gal) bottle

of cordial would be enough for 5.5 litres (1.2 imp gal; 1.5 US gal) diluted. The high

concentration of sugar in nettle cordial gives it a long shelf life.

There are also many recipes for alcoholic nettle beer which is a countryside favourite in

the British Isles such as these.[18]
[edit] Nettle sting treatment

Anti-itch drugs, usually in the form of creams containing antihistaminics or

hydrocortisone[citation needed] may provide relief from the symptoms of being stung by

nettles. But due to the combination of chemicals involved other remedies may be required.

Calamine lotion may be helpful. Many folk remedies exist for treating the itching including

horsetail (Equisetopsida spp.), leaf of dock (Rumex spp.), Jewelweed, (Impatiens capensis

and Impatiens pallida), the underside of a fern (the spores), mud, saliva, or baking soda,

oil and onions, and topical use of milk of magnesia.
[edit] Influence on language and culture
Urtica dioica from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885.

In Great Britain the stinging nettle is the only common stinging plant and has found a

place in several figures of speech in the English language. Shakespeare's Hotspur urges

that "out of this nettle, danger, we grasp this flower, safety" (Henry IV, part 1, Act II

Scene 3). The figure of speech "to grasp the nettle" probably originated from Aesop's fable

"The Boy and the Nettle".[19] In Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock one of the characters

quotes Aesop "Gently touch a nettle and it'll sting you for your pains/Grasp it as a lad of

mettle and soft as silk remains". The metaphor may refer to the fact that if a nettle plant

is grasped firmly rather than brushed against, it does not sting so readily, because the

hairs are crushed down flat and do not penetrate the skin so easily.[20] In the German

language, the idiom "sich in die Nesseln setzen", or to sit in nettles, means to get into

[edit] Textiles

Nettle stems contain a bast fibre that has been traditionally used for the same purposes as

linen and is produced by a similar retting process. Unlike cotton, nettles grow easily

without pesticides. The fibres are coarser however.[21]

In recent years a German company has started to produce commercial nettle textiles.

Nettles may be used as a dye-stuff, producing yellow from the roots, or yellowish green

from the leaves.[22]
[edit] Gardening

As well as the potential for encouraging beneficial insects, nettles have a number of other

uses in the vegetable garden.

The growth of stinging nettle is an indicator that an area has high fertility (especially

phosphorus) and has been disturbed.[23][24]

Nettles contain a lot of nitrogen and so are used as a compost activator[25] or can be used

to make a liquid fertiliser which although somewhat low in phosphate is useful in supplying

magnesium, sulphur and iron.[26][27] They are also one of the few plants that can tolerate,

and flourish in, soils rich in poultry droppings.

Recent experiments have shown that nettles may have some use as a companion plant.[28]

Stinging nettle can be a troubling weed, and mowing can increase plant density.[29] Regular

and persistent tilling will greatly reduce its numbers, the use of herbicides such as 2,4-D

and Glyphosate, are effective control measures.

Lamb’s Quarters

(Chenopodium album)

Chenopodium albumIn most temperate climes the beginning of summer is an odd time for

foragers, at least for those who forage for food rather than medicine. The bounty of the

early spring herb harvest is over, the dandelions, nettles and mustard garlics have grown

too big and old, too tough and stringy or have otherwise become unpalatable. There are some

edible herbs that will last into the summer, but very few that will actually reach their

prime at that time. Lambs Quarters is one of those exceptions. When nettles are beginning

to set seed, Lambs Quarter and its close relative, Good King Henry take over as the wild

spinach herb par excellence.

Lambs Quarters belong to the family of Chenopodiums, which translates as 'Goosefoot' in

allusion to the shape of the leaves, which some botanist has fancied to resemble the webbed

feet of geese. This family of plants, though humble in appearance, includes such luminaries

as Quinoa, the fabled grain of the Incas, Epazote, the Mexican bean spice and 'Good King

Henry', a well-known potherb of the Old World. Lambs Quarters is the most common member of

this inconspicuous family, a humble herb that favours waste grounds and other grimy places.

It is now considered an invasive weed in many parts of the US. How low it has fallen from

its once honoured position as a cultivar of the Old World, where it enjoyed some

considerable esteem for its nutritional properties and mild flavour.

From a distance Lambs Quarters always looks dusty, a deceptive trick due to a white powdery

coating on the leaves. On closer inspection this powdery stuff proves to be quite a

remarkable repellent: try washing the herb and you will notice that water simply beads and

runs off. Thus rinsing it under running water can be a bit of a futile exercise, you have

to actually submerge the entire herb and swish it around in order to wash it thoroughly.

Luckily it is not the kind of herb you will often find encrusted with dirt - dirt seems to

be removed from the plant's surface in much the same way as the water. However, insidious

dirt, such as soil pollutants and artificial fertilizers pose a far greater threat. Lambs

Quarters is a 'purifier herb' and in its effort to cleanse the soil, it absorbs these

pollutants and concentrates them in its leaves. Thus foragers should be weary of patches

where this plant grows in abundance - it could be an indication of soil pollution. At the

very least you should investigate what gets dumped in nearby fields or streams. Another

abnormality to watch for is a reddish hue on the leaves, which indicates that spinach leaf

miner larvae are squatting in the foliage.

Lambs Quarters can be collected throughout the summer. The plants come up in late spring

and while tender can be collected whole. As they get older, taller and tougher, restrict

your harvest to the tender tops. Flowers and seeds are edible as well, so you can continue

the harvest throughout the summer. The herb is best used as a spinach type vegetable in

broth or as a green vegetable. Collect plenty if you want to make a meal of it as it

reduces tremendously when boiled or steamed.

It can also be used raw in salads, alone or with other greens. It does contain oxalic acid

and for this reason it is best not to overdo it, especially when eating the raw herb.

People with kidney problems should avoid this herb since the crystals can irritate the


Native Americans used to gather the flowers to dry and grind them into a flour, which can

be used as an admixture to other flours. It vaguely resembles buckwheat.

In some countries (e.g. Canada, U.S.) this herb is known as 'pigweed' as once upon a time

it used to be grown as pig feed. In Europe both Chenopodium album and its close relative

'Good King Henry' used to be cultivated as potherbs.

Common Spicebush
(Lindera benzoin)
This 5-20 feet tall, spreading bush is a native member of the laurel family. The bushes are

usually colonial, spreading by the roots. Crush or scratch the thin, brittle twigs, or any

part of spicebush to release its lemony-spicy fragrance.

The bright green, alternate, toothless, pointy-tipped, stalked leaves are elliptical, 2-6"

Young Spicebush Twig

Unlike other shrubs, some of the leaves never get large.
In the early spring, before the leaves appear, dense clusters of tiny, yellow flowers in

the axils scent the air, attracting early-season insects.
Each tiny, radially symmetrical flower has cream-colored petals and protruding, yellow,

pollen-bearing stigmas.
Spicebush in Flower

The leafless spicebush is festooned with tiny yellow flowers in early spring.
The spiciest parts are the hard, oval, stalked, scarlet berries, each with one large seed.
Spiceberries, Unripe and Ripe

Finely chopped, the ripe berries are a superb seasoning.
They grow in clusters, from the leaf axils of the female bushes, in autumn.
Look for spicebushes in damp, partially shaded, rich woodlands, on mountains' lower slopes,

in thickets, and along stream banks, throughout the Eastern United States, except the

northernmost regions. Pioneers knew that this was good soil for farms, with moist, fertile


The berries, which taste a little like allspice, are an irreplaceable seasoning for me.

Rinse them, pat them dry, and chop them in a blender or spice grinder. If you have neither,

put them under a towel and crush them with a hammer. Some people remove the seeds, but I

crush them along with the rest of the berries.

Since spiceberries are ripe in apple season, they often find themselves in the same pot. I

love compotes with sliced apples, walnuts, orange rind and spiceberries, simmered about 15

minutes. Spiceberries donít go quite so well with some other later autumn fruits, such as

autumn olives and persimmons. Wild raisins, on the other hand, get a much-needed zing from

spiceberries. The seasoning is also wonderful for main courses, and in pastries, like

commercial allspice.

To store long-range, donít dry the berries. Theyíre too oily, and may go rancid at room

temperature. Spread the chopped berries out on a plate or cookie sheet and freeze them,

then pack into a freezer container. This way, you can remove small amounts of herb as

needed, and your seasoning doesnít stick together. I think 1/2 teaspoon is plenty for a

recipe that serves six, but depends on your personal preference.

Collect the twigs year-round for teas, or use the leaves from mid spring to fall. In one

cup of water, steep either 1/2 cup of fresh leaves (dried leaves loose their flavor) or

twigs, or two tablespoons of chopped berries.

Pioneers called this plant fever bush because a strong bark decoction makes you sweat,

activating the immune system and expelling toxins. They used it for typhoid and other

fevers, and to expel worms. I use a tincture of the leaves, along with wild ginger and

field garlic, plus as vitamin C and zinc lozenges, at the first sign of a cold or sore

throat, and it sometimes works.

The Indians used a spiceberry infusion for coughs, colds, delayed menstruation, croup, and

measles. They used the oil from the berries, externally, for chronic arthritis. Itís also

good for flatulence and colic. Spicebush leaf, bark, or berry tea compresses are also good

for mild skin irritations, such as rashes, itching, and bruises.


Common Sow Thistle

Sow thistles (less commonly hare thistles or hare lettuces) are annual herbs in the genus

Sonchus, after their Ancient Greek name. All are characterized by soft, somewhat

irregularly lobed leaves that clasp the stem and, at least initially, form a basal rosette.

The stem contains a milky sap. Flower heads are yellow and range in size from half to one

inch in diameter; the florets are all of ray type. Sow thistles are common roadside plants,

and while native to Eurasia and tropical Africa, they are found almost worldwide in

temperate regions. Like the true thistles, sow thistles are in the family Asteraceae.

Mature sow thistle stems can range from 30 cm to 2 m (1 to 6 feet) tall, depending upon

species and growing conditions. Colouration ranges from green to purple in older plants.

Sow thistles exude a milky latex when any part of the plant is cut or damaged, and it is

from this fact that the plants obtained the common name, "sow thistle", as they were fed to

lactating sows in the belief that milk production would increase. Sow thistles are known as

"milk thistles" in some regions, although true milk thistles belong to the genus Silybum.

Sow thistles have been used as fodder, particularly for rabbits, hence the other common

names of "hare thistle" or "hare lettuce". They are also edible to humans as a leaf

vegetable; old leaves and stalks can be bitter but young leaves have a flavour similar to

lettuce. Going by the name puha or rareke (raraki) it is frequently eaten in New Zealand as

a vegetable, particularly by the native Māori. When cooked it tastes a little similar to


In many areas sow thistles are considered noxious weeds,[2] as they grow quickly in a wide

range of conditions and their wind-borne seeds allow them to spread rapidly. Sonchus

arvensis, the perennial sow thistle, is considered the most economically detrimental, as it

can crowd commercial crops, is a heavy consumer of nitrogen in soils, may deplete soil

water of land left to fallow, and can regrow and sprout additional plants from its creeping

roots. However, sow thistles are easily uprooted by hand, and their soft stems present

little resistance to slashing or mowing. Most livestock will readily devour sow thistle in

preference to grass, and this lettuce-relative is edible and nutritious to humans -- in

fact this is the meaning of the second part of the Latin name, oleraceus.[1] Attempts at

weed control by herbicidal use, to the neglect of other methods, may have led to a

proliferation of this species in some environments.[2]
Sonchus tenerrimus and Sonchus oleraceus infest many crops in Italy, especially in the

Southern area of the peninsula. Here they are also considered good taste edible plants and

they are cooked with spaghetti.

In traditional medicine, the plant has medicinal qualities, having "nearly the same

properties as Dandelion and Succory"[3].

Sow thistles are common host plants for aphids. Gardeners may consider this a benefit or a

curse; aphids may spread from sow thistle to other plants, but alternatively the sow

thistle can encourage the growth of beneficial predators such as hoverflies. In this regard

sow thistles make excellent sacrificial plants. Sonchus species are used as food plants by

the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Broad-barred White, Grey Chi, The Nutmeg,

The Shark and the tortrix moth Celypha rufana.


Epazote, Wormseed, Jesuit's Tea, Mexican Tea, Paico or Herba Sancti Mariæ (Dysphania

ambrosioides, formerly Chenopodium ambrosioides) is an herb native to Central America,

South America, and southern Mexico.

    * 1 Growth
    * 2 Etymology
    * 3 Usage
          o 3.1 Culinary uses
          o 3.2 Medicinal uses
          o 3.3 Agricultural use
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

[edit] Growth

It is an annual or short-lived perennial plant, growing to 1.2 m tall, irregularly

branched, with oblong-lanceolate leaves up to 12 cm long. The flowers are small and green,

produced in a branched panicle at the apex of the stem.

As well as in its native areas, it is grown in warm temperate to subtropical areas of

Europe and the United States (Missouri, New England, Eastern United States),[1] sometimes

becoming an invasive weed.
[edit] Etymology

The common Spanish name, epazote (sometimes spelled and pronounced ipasote or ypasote), is

derived from Nahuatl: epazōtl (pronounced [eˈpasoːtɬ]).
[edit] Usage
[edit] Culinary uses

Epazote is used as a leaf vegetable and herb for its pungent flavor. Raw, it has a

resinous, medicinal pungency, similar to anise, fennel, or even tarragon, but stronger.

Epazote's fragrance is strong, but difficult to describe. It has been compared to citrus,

petroleum, savory, mint and camphor.

Although it is traditionally used with black beans for flavor and its carminative

properties, it is also sometimes used to flavor other traditional Mexican dishes as well:

it can be used to season quesadillas and sopes (especially those containing huitlacoche),

soups, mole de olla, tamales with cheese and chile, chilaquiles, eggs and potatoes and

[edit] Medicinal uses

Epazote is commonly believed to prevent flatulence caused by eating beans, and is therefore

used to season them. It is also used in the treatment of amenorrhea,[2] dysmenorrhea,

malaria, chorea, hysteria, catarrh, and asthma.[3]

Oil of chenopodium is derived from this plant. It is antihelminthic, that is, it kills

intestinal worms, and was once listed for this use in the US Pharmacopeia. It is also cited

as an antispasmodic and abortifacient.

Epazote essential oil contains ascaridole (up to 70%), limonene, p-cymene, and smaller

amounts of numerous other monoterpenes and monoterpene derivatives (α-pinene, myrcene,

terpinene, thymol, camphor and trans-isocarveol). Ascaridole (1,4-peroxido-p-menth-2-ene)

is rather an uncommon constituent of spices; another plant owing much of its character to

this monoterpene peroxide is boldo. Ascaridole is toxic and has a pungent, not very

pleasant flavor; in pure form, it is an explosive sensitive to shock. Allegedly, ascaridole

content is lower in epazote from Mexico than in epazote grown in Europe or Asia.
[edit] Agricultural use

An extract of epazote is the active ingredient of the pesticide Requiem.

Garlic mustard

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a biennial flowering plant in the Mustard family,

Brassicaceae. It is native to Europe, western and central Asia, and northwestern Africa,

from Morocco, Iberia and the British Isles, north to northern Scandinavia, and east to

northern India and western China (Xinjiang).[1] In the first year of growth, plants form

attractive clumps of round shaped, slightly wrinkled leaves, that when crushed smell like

garlic. The next year plants flower in spring, producing cross shaped white flowers in

dense clusters, as the flowering stems bloom they elongate into a spike-like shape. When

blooming is complete, plants produce upright fruits that release seeds in mid summer.

Plants are often found growing along the margins of hedgerows, giving rise to the old

British folk name of Jack-by-the-hedge. Other common names include Garlic Root, Hedge

Garlic, Sauce-alone, Jack-in-the-bush, Penny Hedge and Poor Man's Mustard. The genus name

Alliaria, "resembling Allium", refers to the garlic-like odour of the crushed foliage.

Lawrence Newcomb gives the species name Alliaria officinalis for this plant.

It is a herbaceous biennial plant (sometimes an annual plant) growing from a deeply

growing, thin, white taproot that is scented like a horse-radish. Plants grow from 30–100

cm (rarely to 130 cm) tall. The leaves are stalked, triangular to heart-shaped, 10–15 cm

long (of which about half being the petiole) and 2–6 cm broad, with a coarsely toothed

margin. In biennial specimens, first-year plants appear as a rosette of green leaves close

to the ground; these rosettes remain green through the winter and develop into mature

flowering plants the following spring. The flowers are produced in spring and summer in

button-like clusters. Each small flower has four white petals 4–8 mm long and 2–3 mm broad,

arranged in a cross shape. The fruit is an erect, slender, four-sided pod 4 to 5.5 cm long

[3] , called a silique, green maturing pale grey-brown, containing two rows of small shiny

black seeds which are released when the pod splits open. Some plants can flower and

complete their life-cycle in the first year. A single plant can produce hundreds of seeds,

which scatter as much as several meters from the parent plant. Depending upon conditions,

garlic mustard flowers either self-fertilize or are cross-pollinated by a variety of

insects. Self-fertilized seeds are genetically identical to the parent plant, enhancing its

ability to colonize an area where that genotype is suited to thrive.[4]
Close-up of Garlic Mustard flowers
Fruits and seeds
[edit] Cultivation and uses

The leaves, flowers and fruit are edible as food for humans, and are best when young. They

have a mild flavour of both garlic and mustard, and are used in salads and pesto. They were

once used as medicine.[5]

In Europe as many as 69 species of insects and 7 species of fungi utilize Garlic Mustard as

a food plant, including the larvae of some Lepidoptera species such as the Garden Carpet

[edit] As an invasive species

Garlic mustard was introduced in North America as a culinary herb in the 1860s and is an

invasive species in much of North America and is listed as a noxious or restricted plant as

of 2006 in the US states of Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire,

Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington.[6] Like most invasive plants, once it has an

introduction into a new location, it persists and spreads into undisturbed plant

communities. In many areas of its introduction in Eastern North America, it has become the

dominant under-story species in woodland and flood plain environments, where eradication is


The insects and fungi that feed on it in its native habitat are not present in North

America, increasing its seed productivity and allowing it to out-compete native plants. It

is a possible threat to the West Virginia White Butterfly (Pieris virginiensis) and Mustard

White Butterfly (Pieris oleracea); adult butterflies of both species lay their eggs on

native Dentaria or Toothwort plants, but they often confuse garlic mustard plants with

Dentaria and lay their eggs on garlic mustard, because they have similar flowers. The eggs

and young butterflies cannot live on the garlic mustard, because it has chemicals that are

toxic to the larvae and eggs.[8]

A study published in 2006 concluded that Garlic Mustard produces allelochemicals that harm

mycorrhizal fungi that many North American plants, including native forest trees, require

for optimum growth.[9] Additionally, because White-tailed Deer rarely feed on Garlic

Mustard, large deer populations may help to increase its population densities by consuming

competing native plants. Trampling by browsing deer encourages additional seed growth by

disturbing the soil. A complication to the eradication of Garlic Mustard from an area is

the longevity of viable seeds in the ground. Seeds contained in the soil can germinate up

to five years after being produced.[10] Garlic mustard has been classified as


Garlic mustard produces a variety of secondary compounds, including the flavonoid

isovitexin 6″-O-β-d-glucopyranoside as a feeding deterrent to Pieris napi oleracea[11],

defense proteins, glycosides, and glucosinolates that reduce its palatability to

herbivores. [12][13] Research published in 2007 shows that, in Northeast Forests, garlic

mustard rosettes increased the rate of native leaf litter decomposition, increasing

nutrient availability and possibly creating conditions favorable to garlic mustard's own




Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba; in Chinese and Japanese 銀杏, pinyin romanization: yín xìng, Hepburn

romanization: ichō or ginnan), also spelled gingko and known as the Maidenhair Tree, is a

unique species of tree with no close living relatives. The tree is widely cultivated and

introduced, since an early period in human history, and has various uses as a food and

traditional medicine.
Ginkgoes are very large trees, normally reaching a height of 20–35 m (66–115 feet), with

some specimens in China being over 50 m (164 feet). The tree has an angular crown and long,

somewhat erratic branches, and is usually deep rooted and resistant to wind and snow

damage. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched; the crown becomes

broader as the tree ages. During autumn, the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall,

sometimes within a short space of time (1–15 days). A combination of resistance to disease,

insect-resistant wood and the ability to form aerial roots and sprouts makes ginkgos

long-lived, with some specimens claimed to be more than 2,500 years old.

Ginkgo is a relatively shade-intolerant species that (at least in cultivation) grows best

in environments that are well-watered and well-drained. The species shows a preference for

disturbed sites; in the "semi-wild" stands at Tian Mu Shan, many specimens are found along

stream banks, rocky slopes, and cliff edges. Accordingly, Ginkgo retains a prodigious

capacity for vegetative growth. It is capable of sprouting from embedded buds near the base

of the trunk (lignotubers, or basal chi chi) in response to disturbances, such as soil

erosion. Old individuals are also capable of producing aerial roots (chi chi) on the

undersides of large branches in response to disturbances such as crown damage; these roots

can lead to successful clonal reproduction upon contacting the soil. These strategies are

evidently important in the persistence of Ginkgo; in a survey of the "semi-wild" stands

remaining in Tian Mu Shan, 40% of the Ginkgo specimens surveyed were multi-stemmed, and few

saplings were present.[3]
Trunk bark
[edit] Stem

Ginkgo branches grow in length by growth of shoots with regularly spaced leaves, as seen on

most trees. From the axils of these leaves, "spur shoots" (also known as short shoots)

develop on second-year growth. Short shoots have very short internodes (so they may grow

only one or two centimeters in several years) and their leaves are usually unlobed. They

are short and knobby, and are arranged regularly on the branches except on first-year

growth. Because of the short internodes, leaves appear to be clustered at the tips of short

shoots, and reproductive structures are formed only on them (see pictures below - seeds and

leaves are visible on short shoots). In Ginkgos, as in other plants that possess them,

short shoots allow the formation of new leaves in the older parts of the crown. After a

number of years, a short shoot may change into a long (ordinary) shoot, or vice versa.
[edit] Leaves
Ginkgo leaves in autumn

The leaves are unique among seed plants, being fan-shaped with veins radiating out into the

leaf blade, sometimes bifurcating (splitting) but never anastomosing to form a network.[4]

Two veins enter the leaf blade at the base and fork repeatedly in two; this is known as

dichotomous venation. The leaves are usually 5–10 cm (2-4 inches), but sometimes up to 15

cm (6 inches) long. The old popular name "Maidenhair tree" is because the leaves resemble

some of the pinnae of the Maidenhair fern Adiantum capillus-veneris.

Leaves of long shoots are usually notched or lobed, but only from the outer surface,

between the veins. They are borne both on the more rapidly-growing branch tips, where they

are alternate and spaced out, and also on the short, stubby spur shoots, where they are

clustered at the tips.
[edit] Reproduction

Ginkgos are dioecious, with separate sexes, some trees being female and others being male.

Male plants produce small pollen cones with sporophylls each bearing two microsporangia

spirally arranged around a central axis.

Female plants do not produce cones. Two ovules are formed at the end of a stalk, and after

pollination, one or both develop into seeds. The seed is 1.5–2 cm long. Its fleshy outer

layer (the sarcotesta) is light yellow-brown, soft, and fruit-like. It is attractive in

appearance, but contains butanoic acid[5] (also known as butyric acid) and smells like

rancid butter (which contains the same chemical) or feces[6] when fallen. Beneath the

sarcotesta is the hard sclerotesta (what is normally known as the "shell" of the seed) and

a papery endotesta, with the nucellus surrounding the female gametophyte at the center.[7]

The fertilization of ginkgo seeds occurs via motile sperm, as in cycads, ferns, mosses and

algae. The sperm are large (about 250-300 micrometres) and are similar to the sperm of

cycads, which are slightly larger. Ginkgo sperm were first discovered by the Japanese

botanist Sakugoro Hirase in 1896.[8] The sperm have a complex multi-layered structure,

which is a continuous belt of basal bodies that form the base of several thousand flagella

which actually have a cilia-like motion. The flagella/cilia apparatus pulls the body of the

sperm forwards. The sperm have only a tiny distance to travel to the archegonia, of which

there are usually two or three. Two sperm are produced, one of which successfully

fertilizes the ovule. Although it is widely held that fertilization of ginkgo seeds occurs

just before or after they fall in early autumn,[4][7] embryos ordinarily occur in seeds

just before and after they drop from the tree.[



The ground-elder (Aegopodium podagraria) is a perennial plant in the carrot family

(Apiaceae) that grows in shady places. Its name is also sometimes spelled "ground elder",

though this format invites confusion with elder (Sambucus), a very distantly related genus

with visually similar leaves. Ground-elder is also known as herb gerard, bishop's weed,

goutweed, and snow-in-the-mountain. It is the type species of the genus Aegopodium.
[edit] Uses as food and medicine

The tender leaves have been used as a spring leaf vegetable, much as spinach was used. It

has also been used to treat gout and arthritis. The plant is said to have been introduced

into England by the Romans as a food plant and into Northern Europe by monks. It is also

eaten by Chinese and Tibetan monks.

It is best picked from when it appears (as early as February in the UK) to just before it

flowers (May to June). If it is picked after this point it takes on an unusual taste and a

laxative effect. However it can be stopped from flowering by pinching out the flowers,

ensuring that the plant remains edible if used more sparingly as a pot herb.[1]
[edit] Invasive habit

In some areas, this plant is considered among the worst of weeds, as it readily spreads

over large areas of ground by underground rhizomes. It is extremely invasive, and crowds

out native species. The smallest piece of rhizome left in the ground will quickly form a

sturdy new plant, followed by many more.

If a small plant finds its way into a perennial flower garden it will spread with vigor,

resist all attempts at eradication, and make continued ornamental gardening there very

[edit] Ornamental use

A variegated form is grown as an ornamental plant, though with the advice to keep it

[edit] Importance to wildlife

It is used as a food plant by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera including dot moth,

grey dagger and grey pug.


Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica, syn. Polygonum cuspidatum, Reynoutria japonica) is a

large, herbaceous perennial plant, native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea. In

North America and Europe the species is very successful and has been classified as an

invasive species in several countries.

A member of the family Polygonaceae, Japanese knotweed has hollow stems with distinct

raised nodes that give it the appearance of bamboo, though it is not closely related. While

stems may reach a maximum height of 3–4 m each growing season, it is typical to see much

smaller plants in places where they sprout through cracks in the pavement or are repeatedly

cut down. The leaves are broad oval with a truncated base, 7–14 cm long and 5–12 cm broad,

with an entire margin. The flowers are small, cream or white, produced in erect racemes

6–15 cm long in late summer and early autumn.

Closely related species include giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis, syn. Polygonum

sachalinense) and Russian vine (Fallopia baldschuanica, syn. Polygonum aubertii, Polygonum


Other English names for Japanese knotweed include fleeceflower, Himalayan fleece vine,

monkeyweed, Huzhang (Chinese: 虎杖; pinyin: Hǔzhàng), Hancock's curse, elephant ears, pea

shooters, donkey rhubarb (although it is not a rhubarb), sally rhubarb, Japanese bamboo,

American bamboo, and Mexican bamboo (though it is not a bamboo). There are also regional

names, and it is sometimes confused with sorrel.

In Japanese, the name is itadori (虎杖, イタドリ?).[1]
Old stems remain in place as new growth appears
A hedgerow made up of roses and Japanese knotweed in Caersws, Wales in 2010
Erect inflorescence

    * 1 Invasive species
    * 2 Uses
    * 3 Control
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

[edit] Invasive species

In the U.S. and Europe, Japanese knotweed is widely considered an invasive species or

weed.[2] It is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world's 100 worst

invasive species.[3]

The invasive root system and strong growth can damage foundations, buildings, flood

defences, roads, paving, retaining walls and architectural sites. It can also reduce the

capacity of channels in flood defences to carry water.[4]

It is a frequent colonizer of temperate riparian ecosystems, roadsides and waste places. It

forms thick, dense colonies that completely crowd out any other herbaceous species and is

now considered one of the worst invasive exotics in parts of the eastern United States. The

success of the species has been partially attributed to its tolerance of a very wide range

of soil types, pH and salinity. Its rhizomes can survive temperatures of −35 °C (−31 °F)

and can extend 7 metres (23 ft) horizontally and 3 metres (9.8 ft) deep, making removal by

excavation extremely difficult. The plant is also resilient to cutting, vigorously

re-sprouting from the roots. The most effective method of control is by herbicide

application close to the flowering stage in late summer or autumn. In some cases it is

possible to eradicate Japanese knotweed in one growing season using only herbicides. Trials

in the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) of British Columbia using sea water sprayed on

the foliage have demonstrated promising results, which may prove to be a viable option for

eradication where concerns over herbicide application are too great.[citation needed]

It can be found in 39 of the 50 United States[5] and in six provinces in Canada. It is

listed as an invasive weed in Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, New York, Alaska, Pennsylvania,

Oregon and Washington state.[6] The species is also common in Europe. In the UK it was made

illegal to spread Japanese knotweed by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is also

classed as "controlled waste" in Britain under part 2 of the Environmental Protection Act

1990. This requires disposal at licensed landfill sites.[7]

Two biological pest control agents that show promise in the control of the plant are the

psyllid Aphalara itadori[8] and a leaf spot fungus from genus Mycosphaerella.[9]
[edit] Uses

Japanese knotweed flowers are valued by some beekeepers as an important source of nectar

for honeybees, at a time of year when little else is flowering. Japanese knotweed yields a

monofloral honey, usually called bamboo honey by northeastern U.S. beekeepers, like a

mild-flavored version of buckwheat honey (a related plant also in the Polygonaceae).

The young stems are edible as a spring vegetable, with a flavor similar to mild rhubarb. In

some locations, semi-cultivating Japanese knotweed for food has been used as a means of

controlling knotweed populations that invade sensitive wetland areas and drive out the

native vegetation.[10] Some caution should be exercised when consuming this plant because

it contains oxalic acid, which may aggravate conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis,

gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity.[11]

Both Japanese knotweed and giant knotweed are important concentrated sources of

resveratrol, replacing grape byproducts. Many large supplement sources of resveratrol now

use Japanese knotweed and use its scientific name in the supplement labels. The plant is

useful because of its year-round growth and robustness in different climates.[12]

Japanese knotweed is a concentrated source of emodin, used as a nutritional supplement to

regulate bowel motility. The roots of Japanese knotweed are used in traditional Chinese and

Japanese herbal medicines as a natural laxative. The active principle responsible for the

laxative effect is emodin, present in its natural form as a complex of its analogs. Emodin

has a mild laxative effect in doses of 20 to 50 mg per day.

Methanol extracts of the roots of Polygonum cuspidatum (Polygonaceae), traditionally used

in Korea to maintain oral health, were shown to reduce the viability of Streptococcus

mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus as well as inhibit sucrose-dependent adherence,

water-insoluble glucan formation, glycolytic acid production and acid tolerance. The

authors suggested that inhibitory effects may be mediated by the presence of alkaloids,

phenolics and sterol/terpenes in the extract.[13]
This antique locomotive at Beekbergen, Netherlands is overgrown by knotweed. A few years

ago, it was knotweed-free
[edit] Control

Japanese knotweed has a large underground network of roots (rhizomes). To eradicate the

plant the roots need to be killed. Picking the right herbicide is essential, as it must

travel through the plant and into the root system below. Glyphosate is the best active

ingredient in herbicide for use on Japanese knotweed as it is ’systemic’; it penetrates

through the whole plant and travels to the roots. Glyphosate is available under several

trade names - all label the product as a "weed and grass killer". Commercial glyphosate

concentrates contain approximately 20%-40% glyphosate; the balance is mostly water. Such

concentrates need to be diluted in water.

The most effective spraying solution contains about 5%-10% glyphosate in water. (To make a

5% solution from a 40% concentrate mix 1 part concentrate with 7 parts water.) Ready-to-use

solutions that contain less than 5% glyphosate are too weak and do not work. A small amount

of liquid dish-washing detergent can be added to improve wetting of the leaves. If

possible, both sides of the leaves should be sprayed until they are completely wet. It

takes about 3 weeks for most of the plants to die. After 3 weeks, all remaining plants

should be sprayed again. This process needs to be repeated until all the plants die.

Typically this can take 3 years.

The US federal government will come and spray Japanese knotweed for no charge in many areas

under the Invasive Species Act. Local county extension agencies can be contacted for more


Digging up the rhizomes is a common solution where the land is to be developed, as this is

quicker than the use of herbicides, but disposal of the plant material is difficult,

governed by law in the UK, where it is classed as controlled waste.

More ecologically friendly means are being tested as an alternative to chemical treatments.

Soil steaming [14] involves injecting steam into contaminated soil in order to kill

subterranean plant parts. Research has also been carried out on 'Mycosphaerella leafspot

fungus, which devastates knotweed in its native Japan. Research with Mycosphaerella has

been relatively slow, due to its complex life cycle.[15]

In the UK, it is an offence under section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981 to

"plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild" any plant listed in Schedule nine, Part II

to the Act, which includes Japanese knotweed. Over £150m is spent annually on Japanese

knotweed control, and a decision was taken on 9 March 2010 in the UK to release into the

wild a Japanese psyllid insect, Aphalara itadori.[16] Its diet is highly specific to

Japanese knotweed and shows good potential for its control[

Juneberry, Shadbush, Serviceberry

Amelanchier (pronounced /æməˈlænʃɪər/ am-ə-LAN-sheer[2]), also known as shadbush,

serviceberry, sarvisberry, juneberry, saskatoon, shadblow, shadwood, sugarplum, chuckley

pear, and wild-plum, is a genus of about 20 species of shrubs and small deciduous trees in

the Rosaceae (Rose family).

The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, growing primarily in

early successional habitats. It is most diverse taxonomically in North America, especially

in the northern United States and in Canada, and is native to every state of the United

States except Hawaii. Two species also occur in Asia, and one in Europe. These plants are

valued horticulturally, and their fruits are important to wildlife. The systematics

(taxonomy) of shadbushes has long perplexed botanists, horticulturalists, and others, as

suggested by the range in number of species recognized in the genus from 6 to 33 in two

recent publications [3][4]. A major source of complexity comes from the occurrence of

apomixis (asexual seed production), polyploidy, and hybridization.[5]

Amelanchier species grow to 0.2–20 m tall, arborecent or suckering and forming loose

colonies or dense clumps to single-stemmed. The bark is gray or less often brown, smooth or

fissuring in older trees. The leaves are deciduous, cauline, alternate, simple, lanceolate

to elliptic to orbiculate, 0.5–10 x 0.5–5.5 cm, thin to coriaceous, with surfaces abaxially

glabrous or densely tomentose at flowering, abaxially glabrous or more or less hairy at

maturity. The inflorescences are terminal, with 1–20 flowers, erect or drooping, either in

clusters of one to four flowers, or in racemes with 4–20 flowers. The flowers have five

white (rarely somewhat pink, yellow, or streaked with red), linear to orbiculate petals,

2.6–25 mm long, occasionally andropetalous (bearing apical microsporangia adaxially; only

known in this genus in A. nantucketensis). The flowers appear in early spring, "when the

shad run" according to tradition (leading to names such as "shadbush"). The fruit is a

berry-like pome, red to purple to nearly black at maturity, 5–15 mm diameter, insipid to

delectably sweet, maturing in summer.[5]

    * 1 Selected species
    * 2 Etymology
    * 3 Ecology
    * 4 Uses and cultivation
    * 5 References
    * 6 External links

[edit] Selected species

For North American species, the taxonomy follows the forthcoming Flora of North

America;[5][6] for Asian species the Flora of China;[7] and for European species the Flora


    * Amelanchier alnifolia var. alnifolia - Saskatoon serviceberry, alder-leaved shadbush,

saskatoon, saskatoon berry, amélanchier à feuilles d'aulne[9]
    * Amelanchier amabilis - Lovely shadbush, amélanchier gracieux [10]
    * Amelanchier arborea - Downy shadbush[11]
    * Amelanchier bartramiana - Mountain shadbush, amélanchier de Bartram [12]
    * Amelanchier canadensis var. canadensis - Eastern shadbush, amélanchier du Canada[13]
    * Amelanchier humilis - Low shadbush, amélanchier bas[14]
    * Amelanchier interior - Wiegand's shadbush, amélanchier de l'intérieur[15]
    * Amelanchier laevis - Smooth shadbush, amélanchier glabre [16]
    * Amelanchier nantucketensis - Nantucket serviceberry
    * Amelanchier ovalis - Snowy Mespilus[17]
    * Amelanchier sanguinea - Red-twigged shadbush, amélanchier sanguin[18]
    * Amelanchier sinica - Chinese Serviceberry[19]
    * Amelanchier spicata - Thicket shadbush, amélanchier en épis[20]
    * Amelanchier utahensis - Utah serviceberry[21]

Several natural hybrids also exist.
[edit] Etymology

The origin of the generic name Amelanchier is probably derived from amalenquièr,

amelanchièr, the Provençal names of the European Amelanchier ovalis. The name serviceberry

comes from the similarity of the fruit to the related European Sorbus. Juneberry refers to

the fruits of certain species becoming ripe in June. The name saskatoon originated from a

Cree Indian noun misâskwatômina (misāskwatōmina, misaaskwatoomina) for Amelanchier

alnifolia. The city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is named after this plant.
[edit] Ecology

Amelanchier are preferred browse for deer and rabbits, and heavy browsing pressure can

suppress natural regeneration. Caterpillars of Lepidoptera such as Brimstone Moth,

Brown-tail, Grey Dagger, Mottled Umber, Rough Prominent, The Satellite, Winter Moth,

Limenitis arthemis and other herbivorous insects also have a taste for serviceberry. Many

insects and diseases that attack orchard trees also affect this genus, in particular trunk

borers and Gymnosporangium rust. In years when late flowers overlap those of wild roses and

brambles, bees may spread bacterial fireblight.
[edit] Uses and cultivation

The fruit of several species are excellent to eat raw, tasting somewhat like a blueberry,

strongly accented by the almond-like flavour of the seeds. Fruit is harvested locally for

pies and jams[22]. The saskatoon berry is harvested commercially. The Native American food

pemmican was flavored by shadbush fruits in combination with fat and dried meats, and the

stems were made into arrow shafts.

Several species are very popular ornamental shrubs, grown for their flowers, bark, and fall

color. All need similar conditions to grow well, requiring good drainage, air circulation

(to discourage leaf diseases), watering during drought and acceptable soil. Note that

species names are often used interchangeably in the nursery trade. Many A. arborea plants

that are offered for sale are actually hybrids, or entirely different species.

The wood is brown, hard, close-grained, and heavy. The heartwood is reddish-brown, and the

sapwood is lighter in color. It can be used for tool handles and fishing rods.

Propagation is by seed, divisions and grafting. Serviceberries graft so readily that grafts

with other genera, such as Crataegus and Sorbus, are often successful.

George Washington planted specimens on the grounds of Mount Vernon.

A taxon commonly cited as Amelanchier "lamarckii" is very widely cultivated and naturalized

in Europe, where it was introduced in the 17th century; it is known to be of North American

origin, probably from eastern Canada. It is not currently known to occur in the wild, and

is probably of hybrid origin between A. laevis and either A. arborea or A. canadensis; it

is apomictic and breeds true from seed


Kousa Dogwood

The Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa or Benthamidia kousa), also known as the Japanese Flowering

Dogwood (Yamaboushi (ヤマボウシ?)), is a small deciduous tree 8–12 m tall, native to eastern

Asia. Like most dogwoods, it has opposite, simple leaves, which are 4–10 cm long.

The tree is extremely showy when in bloom, but what appear to be four petaled white flowers

are actually bracts spread open below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers.

The blossoms appear is in late spring, weeks after the tree leafs out.
[edit] Characteristics

The kousa dogwood can be distinguished from the closely related Flowering Dogwood (Cornus

florida) of eastern North America by its more upright habit, flowering about a month later,

and having pointed rather than rounded flower bracts.

The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry 2–3 cm diameter, though these berries

tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and some berry clusters that do not fall

from the tree surpass 4 cm. It is edible, a delicious addition to the tree's ornamental


There are two varieties:

    * Cornus kousa var. kousa. Leaves 4–7 cm; flower bracts 3–5 cm. Japan.
    * Cornus kousa var. chinensis. Leaves 5–10 cm; flower bracts 4–6 cm. China.

It is resistant to the dogwood anthracnose disease, caused by the fungus Discula

destructiva, unlike Flowering Dogwood, which is very susceptible and commonly killed by it;

for this reason, Kousa Dogwood is being widely planted as an ornamental tree in areas

affected by the disease. A number of hybrids between Kousa Dogwood and Flowering Dogwood

have also been selected for their disease resistance and good flower appearance.


Morus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Moraceae. The 10–16 species of deciduous

trees it contains are commonly known as Mulberries. They are native to warm temperate and

subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, with the majority of the

species native to Asia.

The closely related genus Broussonetia is also commonly known as mulberry, notably the

Paper Mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera.

Mulberries are swift-growing when young, but soon become slow-growing and rarely exceed

10–15 m (33–49 ft) tall. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, often lobed, more

often lobed on juvenile shoots than on mature trees, and serrated on the margin.

The fruit is a multiple fruit, 2–3 cm (0.79–1.2 in) long. The fruits when immature are

white or green to pale yellow with pink edges. In most species the fruits are red when they

are ripening, turning dark purple to black and have a sweet flavor. The fruits of the

white-fruited cultivar of the white mulberry are green when young and white when ripe; the

fruit in this cultivar is also sweet but has a very mild flavor compared with the darker


    * 1 Species
    * 2 Uses and cultivation
          o 2.1 Anthocyanins from mulberry fruits
    * 3 Popular culture
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

[edit] Species

The taxonomy of Morus is complex and disputed. Over 150 species names have been published,

and although differing sources may cite different selections of accepted names, only 10–16

are generally cited as being accepted by the vast majority of botanical authorities. Morus

classification is even further complicated by widespread hybridisation, wherein the hybrids

are fertile.

The following species are generally accepted:

    * Morus alba L. – White Mulberry (E Asia)
    * Morus australis Poir. – Chinese Mulberry (SE Asia)
    * Morus celtidifolia Kunth (Mexico)
    * Morus insignis (S America)
    * Morus mesozygia Stapf – African Mulberry (S and C Africa)


    * Morus microphylla – Texas Mulberry (Mexico, Texas (USA))
    * Morus nigra L. – Black Mulberry (SW Asia)
    * Morus rubra L. – Red Mulberry (E N America)


The following, all from eastern and southern Asia, are additionally accepted by one or more

taxonomic lists or studies; synonymy, as given by other lists or studies, is indicated in

square brackets:

    * Morus atropurpurea
    * Morus bombycis [M. australis]
    * Morus cathayana
    * Morus indica [M. alba]
    * Morus japonica [M. alba]
    * Morus kagayamae [M. australis]
    * Morus laevigata [M. alba var. laevigata; M. macroura]
    * Morus latifolia [M. alba]
    * Morus liboensis


    * Morus macroura [M. alba var. laevigata]
    * Morus mongolica [M. alba var. mongolica]
    * Morus multicaulis [M. alba]
    * Morus notabilis
    * Morus rotundiloba
    * Morus serrata [M. alba var. serrata], Himalayan mulberry
    * Morus tillaefolia
    * Morus trilobata [M. australis var. trilobata]
    * Morus wittiorum

[edit] Uses and cultivation

The ripe fruit is edible and is widely used in pies, tarts, wines, cordials and tea. The

fruit of the black mulberry, native to southwest Asia, and the red mulberry, native to

eastern North America, have the strongest flavor. The fruit of the white mulberry, an east

Asian species which is extensively naturalized in urban regions of eastern North America,

has a different flavor, sometimes characterized as insipid.[2] The mature plant contains

significant amounts of resveratrol, particularly in stem bark.[3] The fruit and leaves are

sold in various forms as nutritional supplements. Unripe fruit and green parts of the plant

have a white sap that is intoxicating and mildly hallucinogenic.[4]

Black, red, and white mulberry are widespread in Northern India, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Syria,

Lebanon, Georgia, Armenia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan, where the tree and the

fruit are known by the Persian-derived names toot (mulberry) or shahtoot (King's or

"superior" mulberry). Jams and sherbets are often made from the fruit in this region. Black

mulberry was imported to Britain in the 17th century in the hope that it would be useful in

the cultivation of silkworms. It was much used in folk medicine, especially in the

treatment of ringworm. Mulberries are also widespread in Greece, particularly in the

Peloponnese, which in the Middle Ages was known as Morea (Greek: Μωριάς, Morias), deriving

from the Greek word for the tree (Greek: Μουριά, Μouria). Mulberry trees were used for silk

production, which was a major source of wealth for the region.

Mulberry leaves, particularly those of the white mulberry, are ecologically important as

the sole food source of the silkworm (Bombyx mori, named after the mulberry genus Morus),

the pupa/cocoon of which is used to make silk. Other Lepidoptera larvae also sometimes feed

on the plant including common emerald, lime hawk-moth, and the sycamore.

Mulberries can be grown from seed, and this is often advised as seedling-grown trees are

generally of better shape and health. But they are most often planted from large cuttings

which root readily. The mulberry plants which are allowed to grow tall with a crown height

of 5 - 6 feet from the ground level having stem girth of 4 -5 inches or more is called tree

mulberry. They are specially raised with the help of well grown saplings of 8 - 10 months

old with any of the varieties recommended for rain fed areas like S-13 (for red loamy soil)

or S-34 (black cotton soil) which are tolerant to draught or soil moisture stress

conditions. Usually the plantation is raised as block plantation with a spacing of 6 feet x

6 feet or 8 feet x 8 feet as plant to plant and row to row distance. The plants are usually

pruned once in a year during monsoon (July - August) at a height of 5 - 6 feet from the

ground level and allowed to grow with maximum of 8 - 10 shoots at crown. The leaf is

harvested 3-4 times in a year by leaf picking method under rain fed or semi-arid conditions

depending upon the monsoon. The tree branches pruned during the fall season (after the

leaves have fallen) are cut and used to make very durable baskets which are used in a lot

of village jobs related to agriculture and animal husbandry.
[edit] Anthocyanins from mulberry fruits

Anthocyanins are pigments which hold potential use as dietary modulators of mechanisms for

various diseases[5][6] and as natural food colorants. Due to increasing demand for natural

food colorants, their significance in the food industry is increasing. Anthocyanins are

responsible for the attractive colors of fresh plant foods, producing colors such as

orange, red, purple, black, and blue. They are water-soluble and easily extractable.

A cheap and industrially feasible method to purify anthocyanins from mulberry fruit which

could be used as a fabric tanning agent or food colorant of high color value (of above 100)

has been established. Scientists found that out of 31 Chinese mulberry cultivars tested,

the total anthocyanin yield varied from 148 mg to 2725 mg per liter of fruit juice.[7]

Total sugars, total acids, and vitamins remained intact in the residual juice after removal

of anthocyanins and that the residual juice could be fermented to produce products such as

juice, wine, and sauce.

Worldwide, mulberry is grown for its fruit. In traditional and folk medicine, the fruit is

believed to have medicinal properties and is used for making jam, wine, and other food

products. As the genus Morus has been domesticated over thousands of years and constantly

been subjected to heterosis breeding (mainly for improving leaf yield), it is possible to

hybridize breeds suitable for berry production, thus offering possible industrial use of

mulberry as a source of anthocyanins for functional foods or food colorants which could

enhance the overall profitability of sericulture.

Anthocyanin content depends on climate, area of cultivation, and is particularly higher in

sunny climates.[8] This finding holds promise for tropical sericulture countries to profit

from industrial anthocyanin production from mulberry through anthocyanin recovery.

This offers a challenging task to the mulberry germplasm resources for

    * exploration and collection of fruit yielding mulberry species;
    * their characterization, cataloging, and evaluation for anthocyanin content by using

traditional as well as modern means and biotechnology tools;
    * developing an information system about these cultivars or varieties;
    * training and global coordination of genetic stocks;
    * evolving suitable breeding strategies to improve the anthocyanin content in potential

breeds by collaboration with various research stations in the field of sericulture, plant

genetics, and breeding, biotechnology and pharmacology.



Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or common wormwood) is one of several species in the genus

Artemisia which have common names that include the word mugwort. This species is also

occasionally known as Felon Herb, Chrysanthemum Weed, Wild Wormwood, Old uncle Henry,

Sailor's Tobacco, Naughty Man, Old Man or St. John's Plant (not to be confused with St

John's wort).

It is native to temperate Europe, Asia, northern Africa and Alaska and is naturalized in

North America,[1] where some consider it an invasive weed. It is a very common plant

growing on nitrogenous soils, like weedy and uncultivated areas, such as waste places and


It is a tall herbaceous perennial plant growing 1–2 m (rarely 2.5 m) tall, with a woody

root. The leaves are 5–20 cm long, dark green, pinnate, with dense white tomentose hairs on

the underside. The erect stem often has a red-purplish tinge. The rather small flowers (5

mm long) are radially symmetrical with many yellow or dark red petals. The narrow and

numerous capitula (flower heads) spread out in racemose panicles. It flowers from July to


A number of species of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) feed on the leaves and flowers;

see List of Lepidoptera that feed on Artemisia for details.

    * 1 Nomenclature and taxonomy
    * 2 List of the cultivars
    * 3 Etymology
    * 4 Related species
    * 5 Uses
          o 5.1 Middle ages
          o 5.2 Witchcraft
          o 5.3 Food
          o 5.4 Medicinal
          o 5.5 China
          o 5.6 Germany
          o 5.7 Korea
          o 5.8 Japan
    * 6 Allergen
    * 7 References
    * 8 External links

[edit] Nomenclature and taxonomy
Wiki letter w.svg     This section is empty. You can help by adding to it.
[edit] List of the cultivars
Wiki letter w.svg     This section is empty. You can help by adding to it.
[edit] Etymology

Mugwort is often said to derive from the word "mug" since it has been used in flavoring

drinks at least since the early Iron Age.[2] However, this may be a folk etymology based on

coincidental sounds. Other sources say Mugwort is derived from the old Norse muggi, meaning

"marsh", and Germanic "wuertz", meaning "root", which refers to its use since ancient times

to repel insects, especially moths.[3] The Old English word for mugwort is "mucgwyrt" where

"mucg-" could be a variation of the Old English word for midge "mycg". Wort comes from the

Old English "wyrt" (root/herb/plant) which is related to the Old High Germany "wurz" (root)

and the Old Norse "urt" (plant).[4] Mugwort is called chornobylnik in Ukrainian, and has

given its name to the abandoned city of Chernobyl (Chornobyl in Ukrainian). The name

chornobyl has an interesting history, meaning "place where mugwort grows" in the related

Indo-European languages.[citation needed]
[edit] Related species

There are other species in the genus Artemisia called mugwort:

    * Artemisia douglasiana – Douglas' Mugwort
    * Artemisia glacialis – Alpine Mugwort
    * Artemisia norvegica – Norwegian Mugwort
    * Artemisia princeps – Japanese Mugwort ("Yomogi")
    * Artemisia stelleriana – Hoary Mugwort
    * Artemisia verlotiorum – Chinese Mugwort

[edit] Uses
19th century illustration

Mugwort contains thujone, which is toxic in large amounts or under prolonged intake.

Thujone is also present in Thuja plicata (western red cedar), from which the name is

derived. Pregnant women, in particular, should avoid consuming large amounts of mugwort.

The species has a number of recorded historic uses in food, herbal medicine, and as a

smoking herb.
[edit] Middle ages

In the Middle Ages, mugwort was used as a magical protective herb. Mugwort was used to

repel insects, especially moths, from gardens. Mugwort has also been used from ancient

times as a remedy against fatigue and to protect travelers against evil spirits and wild

animals. Roman soldiers put mugwort in their sandals to protect their feet against

fatigue.[5] Mugwort is one of the nine herbs invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs

Charm, recorded in the 10th century in the Lacnunga.[6]
[edit] Witchcraft

Much used in witchcraft, mugwort is said to be useful in inducing lucid dreaming and astral

travel/astral projection. Consumption of the plant, or a tincture thereof, prior to

sleeping is said to increase the intensity of dreams, the level of control, and to aid in

the recall of dreams upon waking. One common method of ingestion is to smoke the plant.[7]
[edit] Food

The leaves and buds, best picked shortly before the plant flowers in July to September,

were used as a bitter flavoring agent to season fat, meat and fish.

It has also been used to flavor beer before the introduction of or instead of hops.[8][2]
[edit] Medicinal
A mugwort leaf with the pointed leaves characteristic of a mature plant

The mugwort plant contains essential oils (such as cineole, or wormwood oil, and thujone),

flavonoids, triterpenes, and coumarin derivatives. It was also used as an anthelminthic, so

it is sometimes confused with wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). The plant, called nagadamni

in Sanskrit, is used in Ayurveda for cardiac complaints as well as feelings of unease,

unwellness and general malaise.[9]

The British RCT yielded results that indicate that moxibustion of mugwort was indeed

effective at increasing the cephalic positioning of fetuses who were in a breech position

before the intervention[citation needed]. In contrast, a Cochrane review in 2005 found that

moxibustion may be beneficial in reducing the need for ECV, but stressed a need for

well-designed randomised controlled trials to evaluate this usage[10]. Since it also causes

uterine contractions, it has been used to cause abortion. It also plays a role in Asian

traditional medicine as a method of correcting breech presentation. A study of 260 Chinese

women at 33 weeks of pregnancy demonstrated cephalic version within two weeks in 75% of

fetuses carried by patients who were treated with moxibustion, as opposed to 48% in the

control group.[11] It has also been shown that acupuncture plus moxibustion slows fetal

heart rates while increasing fetal movement.[12] Two recent studies of Italian patients

produced conflicting results. In the first, involving 226 patients, there was cephalic

presentation at delivery in 54% of women treated between 33 and 35 weeks with acupuncture

and moxibustion, vs. 37% in the control group.[13] The second was terminated prematurely

because of poor compliance with treatment, but found no difference between moxibustion and

control groups.[14]

In rats, Mugwort shows efficacy against trichinellosis.[15]
[edit] China

There are several references to the Chinese using mugwort in cuisine. The famous Chinese

poet Su Shi (苏轼) in the 11th century mentioned it in one of his poems. There are even older

poems and songs that can be tracked back to 3 BC. Mainly it was called Lou Hao (蒌蒿) in

Mandarin. Mugwort can be prepared as a cold dish or can be stir fried with fresh or smoked

meat. The Hakka Taiwanese also use it to make chhú-khak-ké (鼠麹粿, 草仔粿).

Mugwort is used in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine in a pulverized and aged

form called moxa.
[edit] Germany

In Germany, known as Beifuß, it is mainly used to season goose, especially the roast goose

traditionally eaten for Christmas. From the German, ancient use of a sprig of mugwort

inserted into the goose cavity, comes the saying "goosed" or "is goosed".[citation needed]
[edit] Korea

Mugwort or Sook is also used in Korea as a common ingredient in rice cakes, teas, soups,

and pancakes. Known as a blood cleanser, it is believed to have different medicinal

properties depending on the region it is collected. In some regions, mugwort thins the

blood, while in another region, it is proposed to have hallucigenic properties, leading to

some bonneted grandmothers passing out from direct skin contact (dermal absorption) with

the active chemicals. For this reason, Koreans also wear a silk sleeve when picking mugwort

[edit] Japan

Mugwort or yomogi is used in a number of Japanese dishes, including yōkan, a dessert, or

kusa mochi, also known as yomogi mochi.

Mugwort rice cakes, or kusa mochi are used for Japanese sweets called Daifuku (which

literally translated means 'great luck'). To make these take a small amount of mochi and

stuff it or wrap it round a filling of fruit or sweetened azuki (red bean) paste.

Traditional Daifuku can be pale green, white or pale pink and are covered in a fine layer

of potato starch to prevent sticking.

Ingredients for kusa mochi[16]: Whole-grain sweet brown rice and Japanese mugwort (yomogi)


Mugwort is a vital ingredient of kusa mochi (rice cake with mugwort) and hishi mochi

(lozenge rice cake) which is served at the Doll Festival in March. In addition, the fuzz on

the underside of the mugwort leaves is gathered and used in moxibustion. In some regions in

Japan[17], there is an ancient custom of hanging yomogi and iris leaves together outside

homes in order to keep evil spirits away. It is said that evil spirits dislike their smell.

The juice is said to be effective at stopping bleeding, lowering fevers and purging the

stomach of impurities. It can also be boiled and taken to relieve colds and coughs.
[edit] Allergen

Mugwort pollen is one of main sources of hay fever and allergic asthma, in North Europe,

North America and in parts of Asia.[18][19]. Mugwort pollen generally travels less than

2,000 meters[20]. The highest concentration of mugwort pollen is generally found between 9

and 11 am. The Finnish allergy association recommends tearing as method of eradicating

mugwort[20]. Tearing mugwort is known to lessen the effect of the allergy, since the pollen

flies only short distance[20]].

Cooking is known to decrease the allergenicity of mugwort.

Ostrich Fern

The ostrich fern or shuttlecock fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) is a crown-forming,

colony-forming fern, occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in eastern

and northern Europe, northern Asia and northern North America.
Spore-bearing fertile fronds in early spring

It grows from a completely vertical crown, favoring riverbanks and sandbars, but sends out

lateral stolons to form new crowns. It thus can form dense colonies resistant to

destruction by floodwaters.

The fronds are dimorphic, with the deciduous green sterile fronds being almost vertical,

100-170 cm tall and 20-35 cm broad, long-tapering to the base but short-tapering to the

tip, so that they resemble ostrich plumes, hence the name. The fertile fronds are shorter,

40-60 cm long, brown when ripe, with highly modified and constricted leaf tissue curled

over the sporangia; they develop in autumn, persist erect over the winter and release the

spores in early spring.

Matteuccia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species

including Sthenopis auratus.

    * 1 Cultivation and uses
    * 2 Classification
    * 3 References
    * 4 Sources

[edit] Cultivation and uses

The ostrich fern is a popular ornamental plant in gardens. While choosing a place of

planting it should be taken into account that these ferns are very expansive and its leaves

often lose their beauty throughout the summer, especially if not protected from wind and

hail. The tightly wound immature fronds, called fiddleheads, are also used as a cooked

vegetable, and are considered a delicacy mainly in rural areas of northeastern North


The plants are also grown in Japan, where the sprouts ("kogomi" in Japanese) are a

[edit] Classification

Matteuccia struthiopteris is the only species in the genus Matteuccia. Some sources include

two Asian species, M. orientalis and M. intermedia, but molecular data shows that M.

struthiopteris is more closely related to Onocleopsis and Onoclea (sensitive fern) than it

is to M. orientalis and M. intermedia, and so the latter should be moved to a genus

Pentarhizidium which contains those two species. [2] Formerly classified as a member of the

Dryopteridaceae, Matteuccia has been reassigned to the new much smaller family Onocleaceae.


American Persimmon

A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros in

the ebony wood family (Ebenaceae). The word Diospyros means "the fruit of the gods" in

ancient Greek.[1] As a tree, it is a perennial plant. The word persimmon is derived from

putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan, an Algonquian language (related to

Blackfoot, Cree and Mohican) of the eastern United States, meaning "a dry fruit".[2]

Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, and depending on

the species, vary in size from 1.5 to 9 cm (0.5 to 4 in) diameter, and may be spherical,

acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped.[3] The calyx often remains attached to the fruit after

harvesting, but becomes easier to remove as it ripens. They are high in glucose, with a

balanced protein profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses.

Like the tomato, it is not considered a "common berry", but is in fact a "true berry" by


    * 1 Select species
    * 2 Fruit
          o 2.1 Fruit production
          o 2.2 Culinary uses
    * 3 Medical effects
    * 4 Wood
    * 5 Trees
    * 6 Apocryphal and traditional significance
    * 7 Gallery
    * 8 See also
    * 9 References

[edit] Select species
Diospyros kaki 柿

The shizi (柿子 in Chinese), also known as Japanese Persimmon or kaki (柿) (Diospyros kaki),

is the most widely cultivated species. These are sweet, slightly tangy fruits with a soft

to occasionally fibrous texture. This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad,

stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of east Asia, and was

later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 1800s, to Brazil in the 1890s[4],

and numerous cultivars have been selected. It is edible in its crisp firm state, but has

its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften slightly after harvest. The Japanese

cultivar 'Hachiya' is a widely grown cultivar. The fruit has a high tannin content which

makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit

matures. Persimmons like 'Hachiya' must be completely ripened before consumption. When

ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. "Sharon

Fruit" (named originally after Sharon plain in Israel) is the trade name for D. kaki fruit

that has been artificially ripened with chemicals.[5]
Nanyo City, Yamagata, Japan. October 2005.

The Date-plum (Diospyros lotus) is native to southwest Asia and southeast Europe. It was

known to the ancient Greeks as "the fruit of the gods", or often referred to as "nature's

candy" i.e. Dios pyros (lit. "the wheat of Zeus"), hence the scientific name of the genus.

Its English name probably derives from Persian Khormaloo خرمالو literally "Date-Plum",

referring to the taste of this fruit which is reminiscent of both plums and dates. This

species is one candidate for the lotus mentioned in the Odyssey: it was so delicious that

those who ate it forgot about returning home and wanted to stay and eat lotus with the

lotus-eaters.[6] The fruit is also known as 'Amlok' or 'Japani Phal' in Pakistan.

The American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is native to the eastern United States and is

higher in nutrients like vitamin C and calcium than the Japanese Persimmon.[7]

The Black Persimmon or Black Sapote (Diospyros digyna) is native to Mexico. Its fruit has

green skin and white flesh, which turns black when ripe.

The Mabolo or Velvet-apple (Diospyros discolor) is native to the Philippines. It is bright

red when ripe. It is also native to China, where it is known as shizi. It is also known as

Korean Mango.

There are many other species of Diospyros that are inedible to humans, and thus have little

or no commercial value for their fruit.
[edit] Fruit
A fuyu persimmon fruit
A ripe hachiya persimmon fruit

Commercially, there are generally two types of persimmon fruit: astringent and


The heart-shaped Hachiya is the most common variety of astringent persimmon. Astringent

persimmons contain very high levels of soluble tannins and are unpalatable (or "furry"

tasting) if eaten before softening. The astringency of tannins is removed through ripening

by exposure to light over several days, wrapping the fruit in paper (probably because this

increases the ethylene concentration of the surrounding air), and/or artificially with

chemicals such as alcohol and carbon dioxide which change tannin into the insoluble form.

This bletting process is sometimes jumpstarted by exposing the fruit to cold or frost which

hastens cellular wall breakdown. These astringent persimmons can also be prepared for

commercial purposes by drying. Tanenashi fruit will occasionally contain a seed or two,

which can be planted and will yield a larger more vertical tree than when merely grafted

onto the D. virginiana rootstock most commonly used in the U.S. Such seedling trees may

produce fruit that bears more seeds, usually 6 to 8 per fruit, and the fruit itself may

vary slightly from the parent tree. Seedlings are said to be more susceptible to root

nematodes. Those wanting to obtain native persimmon fruit and seeds might look at the

reststop on the west side of Interstate 26 about 6 miles south of Columbia, South Carolina

in the fall. There are several large D. virginiana trees near the exit from the rest stop

which yield abundant seed from which seedlings can be grown and used as rootstock.

The non-astringent persimmon is squat like a tomato and is most commonly sold as fuyu.

Non-astringent persimmons are not actually free of tannins as the term suggests, but rather

are far less astringent before ripening, and lose more of their tannic quality sooner.

Non-astringent persimmons may be consumed when still very firm, and remain edible when very


There is a third type, less commonly available, the pollination-variant non-astringent

persimmons. When fully pollinated, the flesh of these fruit is brown inside -known as goma

in Japan, and the fruit can be eaten firm. These varieties are highly sought after and can

be found at specialty markets or farmers markets only[citation needed]. Tsurunoko, sold as

"Chocolate persimmon" for its dark brown flesh, Maru, sold as "Cinnamon persimmon" for its

spicy flavor, and Hyakume, sold as "Brown sugar" are the three best known.

Before ripening, persimmons usually have a "chalky" taste or bitter taste.
Culinary uses
Peeled, flattened, and dried persimmons (shibing;柿餅) in a Xi'an market

Persimmons are eaten fresh, dried, raw, or cooked. When eaten fresh, the skin is usually

cut/peeled off and the fruit is often cut into quarters or eaten whole like an apple. One

way to consume very ripe persimmons, which can have the texture of pudding, is to remove

the top leaf with a paring knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. The flesh ranges

from firm to mushy and the texture is unique. The flesh is very sweet and when firm

possesses an apple-like crunch. American persimmons are completely inedible until they are

fully ripe. In China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam after harvesting, 'Hachiya' persimmons are

prepared using traditional hand-drying techniques, outdoors for two to three weeks. The

fruit is then further dried by exposure to heat over several days before being shipped to

market. In Japan the dried fruit is called hoshigaki (干し柿), in China it is known as

"shi-bing" (柿饼), in Korea it is known as gotgam (hangul: 곶감), and in Vietnam it is called

hồng khô. It is eaten as a snack or dessert and used for other culinary purposes.
Kaki preserved in lime water

In Korea, dried persimmon fruits are used to make the traditional Korean spicy punch,

sujeonggwa, while the matured, fermented fruit is used to make a persimmon vinegar called

gamsikcho (감식초), which is alleged to have a variety of health benefits. The hoshigaki

tradition traveled to California with Japanese American immigrants.

In Taiwan, fruits of astringent varieties are sealed in jars filled with lime water to get

rid of bitterness. Slightly hardened in the process, they are sold under the name "crisp

persimmon" (cuishi 脆柿) or "water persimmon" (shuishizi 水柿子). Preparation time is dependent

upon temperature (5 to 7 days at 25–28°C). In some areas of Manchuria and Korea, the dried

leaves of the fruit are used for making tea. The Korean name for this tea is ghamnip cha (감

干し柿 Hoshigaki, Japanese dried persimmon

In the State of Indiana (USA), persimmons are harvested and used in a variety of dessert

dishes most notably pies. It can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads, curries [2]

and as a topping for breakfast cereal. Persimmon pudding is a dessert using fresh

persimmons. An annual persimmon festival, featuring a persimmon pudding contest, is held

every September in Mitchell, Indiana. Persimmon pudding is a baked pudding that has the

consistency of pumpkin pie but resembles a brownie and is almost always topped with whipped

cream. Persimmons may be stored at room temperature (20°C) where they will continue to

ripen. In northern China, unripe persimmons are frozen outside during winter to speed up

the ripening process.
[edit] Medical effects

The fruits of some persimmon varieties contain the tannins catechin and gallocatechin,[9]

as well as the candidate anti-tumor compounds betulinic acid and shibuol.[citation needed]

Unripened persimmons contain the soluble tannin shibuol, which, upon contact with a weak

acid, polymerizes in the stomach and forms a gluey coagulum, a 'foodball' or phytobezoar,

that can affix with other stomach matter.[10] These phytobezoars are often very hard and

almost woody in consistency. More than 85% phytobezoars are caused by ingestion of

unripened persimmons.[11] Persimmon bezoars (diospyrobezoars) often occur in epidemics in

regions where the fruit is grown.[12][13][14]. Diospyrobezoars should not be of concern

when consuming moderate quantities of persimmons. One case in medical literature from 2004

revealed a 51-year old patient who had eaten a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of unpeeled persimmons

each day for 40 years.[15][16] Cases have been rare and required surgical removal, but more

recently chemical depolymerization by Coca-Cola has been used.[17]

Horses may develop a taste for the fruit growing on a tree in their pasture and overindulge

also, making them quite ill. It is often advised that persimmons should not be eaten on an

empty stomach.[18]
[edit] Wood
An example of persimmon wood furniture

Though persimmon trees belong to the same genus as ebony trees, persimmon tree wood has a

limited use in the manufacture of objects requiring hard wood. It is hard, but cracks

easily and is somewhat difficult to process. Persimmon wood is used for paneling in

traditional Korean and Japanese furniture.

In North America, the lightly colored, fine-grained wood of D. virginiana is used to

manufacture billiard cues and textile shuttles. It is also used in the percussion field as

the shaft of the Tim Genis Signature Timpani Mallet Collection. Persimmon wood was also

heavily used in making the highest-quality heads of the golf clubs known as "woods" until

the golf industry moved primarily to metal woods in the last years of the 20th century. In

fact, the first metal woods made by TaylorMade, an early pioneer of that club type, were

branded as "Pittsburgh Persimmons". Persimmon woods are still made, but in far lower

numbers than in past decades. Over the last few decades persimmon wood has become popular

among bow craftsmen, especially in the making of traditional longbows. Persimmon wood is

used in making a small number of wooden flutes and eating utensils such as wooden spoons

and cornbread knives (wooden knives that may cut through the bread without scarring the


Like some other plants of the genus Diospyros, older persimmon heartwood is black or dark

brown in color, in stark contrast to the sapwood and younger heartwood, which is pale in

[edit] Trees
Persimmon Tree

The trees of all species have stiff, tumescent leaves, but the female of the D. virginiana

can look less turgid than the male because the leaves droop when fruiting, perhaps because

of the heavier nutrient requirements. They grow swiftly, and are immune to the usual

delicacy of trees planted in unpredictable climates. They are one of the last trees to leaf

out in the spring, and do not flower until well after the leaves have formed, bypassing the

threat of blossom loss to frosts. The fruit hangs on the branches long into the winter.

Because they grow swiftly and colonize off their root systems, they are ideal for helping

recover habitat. A 1–2 year old persimmon tree will be mature enough to bear fruit within

7–8 years. They hold their own against flooding riverbanks quite well and are listed in

Stormwater Journal's list of water-holding trees.[19]


Pineapple Weed

Matricaria discoidea, commonly known as pineapple weed and disc mayweed is an annual plant

native to North America and Northeast Asia but which has become a cosmopolitan weed. It is

in the family Asteraceae. The flowers exude a chamomile/pineapple aroma when crushed. They

are edible and have been used in salads (although they may become bitter by the time the

plant blooms) and to make herbal tea. Pineapple weed has been used for medicinal purposes,

including for relief of gastrointestinal upset, infected sores, fevers, and postpartum


    * 1 Description
    * 2 Distribution
    * 3 Uses
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

[edit] Description
The pinnately dissected leaves are sweet-scented when crushed (Fir Island, Washington).

The flower head is cone-shaped, composed of dense-packed yellowish-green corollas, and

lacking ray-florets. The leaves are pinnately dissected and sweet-scented when crushed. The

plant grows 2 to 16 inches (5.1 to 41 cm) high. Flowerheads are produced from May to

[edit] Distribution

The plant grows well in disturbed areas, especially those with poor, compacted soil. It can

be seen blooming on footpaths, roadsides, and similar places in spring and early summer. In

the USA, it can be found from central Alaska down to California and all the way to Nova

[edit] Uses

Pineapple weed flowers used to be gathered for food by children, although most find it too

bitter to consume raw. The plant, when bruised and rubbed on skin, provides an effective,

yet temporary insect repellent.



Sassafras is a genus of three[1][2] extant and one extinct[3] species of deciduous trees in

the family Lauraceae, native to eastern North America and eastern Asia.[2]

Sassafras trees grow from 9.1–18 m (30–59 ft) tall and spreading 7.6–12 m (25–39 ft)[4] The

trunk grows 70–150 cm (28–59 in) in diameter, with many slender branches, and smooth,

orange-brown bark. The branching is sympodial. The bark of the mature trunk is thick,

red-brown, and deeply furrowed. The wood is light, hard, and sometimes brittle. All parts

of the plants are very fragrant. The species are unusual in having three distinct leaf

patterns on the same plant, unlobed oval, bilobed (mitten-shaped), and trilobed (three

pronged); rarely the leaves can be five-lobed.[5] They have smooth margins and grow 7–20 cm

long by 5–10 cm broad. The young leaves and twigs are quite mucilaginous, and produce a

citrus-like scent when crushed. The tiny, yellow flowers are five-petaled and bloom in the

spring; they are dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate trees. The fruit are

blue-black, egg-shaped, 1 cm long, produced on long, red-stalked cups, and mature in late

summer.[1] The largest Sassafras tree in the United States is located in Owensboro,

Kentucky, which measures over 100 feet high and 21 feet in circumference.[6][7]

The name "Sassafras," applied by the botanist Nicolas Monardes in the sixteenth century, is

said to be a corruption of the Spanish word for saxifrage.

    * 1 Species
    * 2 Usage
          o 2.1 Importance to livestock and wildlife
          o 2.2 Culinary uses
    * 3 Ethnobotanical history
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

[edit] Species
Fossil Sassafras hesperia leaf

    * Sassafras albidum (Nuttall) Nees - Sassafras, White Sassafras, Red Sassafras or Silky

Sassafras. Eastern North America, from southernmost Ontario, Canada through the eastern

United States south to central Florida, and west to southern Iowa and eastern Texas.
    * †Sassafras hesperia (Berry) Wolfe & Wehr 1987 - From the Eocene Klondike Mountain

Formation of Washington and British Columbia[3]
    * Sassafras tzumu (Hemsl.) Hemsl. - Chinese Sassafras or Tzumu. Central and

southwestern China. It differs from S. albidum in the leaves being more frequently

three-lobed,[8] the lobes having a tapered acuminate apex (not rounded to weakly acute).
    * Sassafras randaiense (Hayata) Rehd. - Taiwanese Sassafras. Taiwan. Treated by some

botanists in a distinct genus as Yushunia randaiensis (Hayata) Kamikoti,[9] though this is

not supported by recent genetic evidence which shows Sassafras to be monophyletic.[2]

[edit] Usage
S. albidum is a host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail

Steam distillation of dried root bark produces an essential oil consisting mostly of

safrole that once was extensively used as a fragrance in perfumes and soaps, food and for

aromatherapy. The yield of this oil from American sassafras is quite low and great effort

is needed to produce useful amounts of the root bark.[citation needed] Sassafras extract

was a primary ingredient in root beer. Commercial "sassafras oil" generally is a by-product

of camphor production in Asia or comes from related trees in Brazil. Safrole is a precursor

for the clandestine manufacture of the drug MDMA (ecstasy), and as such, its transport is

monitored internationally.
[edit] Importance to livestock and wildlife

Sassafras leaves and twigs are consumed by white-tailed deer in both summer and winter. In

some areas it is an important deer food.[10] Sassafras leaf browsers include groundhogs,

Marsh Rabbits, and American Black Bears.[10] Rabbits eat sassafras bark in winter.[10]

American Beavers will cut sassafras stems.[10] Sassafras fruits are eaten by many species

of birds including Bobwhite Quail,[10] Eastern Kingbirds, Great Crested Flycatchers,

Phoebes, Wild Turkeys, Gray Catbirds, Northern Flickers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Downy

Woodpeckers, thrushes, vireos, and Northern Mockingbirds. Some small mammals also consume

sassafras fruits.[10]

For most of the above mentioned animals, sassafras is not consumed in large enough

quantities to be important. Carey and Gill rate its value to wildlife as fair, their lowest

[edit] Culinary uses

The dried and ground leaves are used to make filé powder, a condiment served with some

types of gumbo.

The roots of Sassafras can be steeped to make tea and were used in the flavoring of

traditional root beer until being banned for mass production by the FDA. Laboratory animals

that were given oral doses of sassafras tea or sassafras oil that contained large doses of

safrole developed permanent liver damage or various types of cancer. In humans liver damage

can take years to develop and it may not have obvious signs. Along with commercially

available sarsaparilla, sassafras remains an ingredient in use among hobby or microbrew


In 1960, the FDA banned the use of sassafras oil and safrole in commercially mass produced

foods and drugs based on the animal studies and human case reports.[11] Several years later

sassafras tea was banned,[11] a ban that lasted until the passage of the Dietary Supplement

Health and Education Act in 1994.[12] Sassafras root extracts which do not contain safrole

or in which the safrole has been removed are permissible, and are still widely used

commercially in teas and root beers.

Sassafras tea can also be used as an anticoagulant.
[edit] Ethnobotanical history

During the establishment of the Virginia Colony, including Jamestown in the seventeenth

century, sassafras was a major export commodity to England. A medicinal root and a wood

prized for its beauty and durability, sassafras was popular from its first import by Sir

Walter Raleigh in 1602 until the eighteenth century.[13] There was a brief period of time

in the early seventeenth century in which sassafras was the second largest export from

America behind tobacco.

Sassafras was a commodity prized in Europe as a cure for gonorrhea[14] and syphilis.

Wild Strawberry
Fragaria virginiana
Rose family (Rosaceae)
Description: This is a low, colony-forming native perennial plant. A plant typically

consists of several trifoliate leaves with long hairy petioles that emerge directly from a

central taproot in the ground. Each leaflet is about 3" long and 1½" wide, pale green

underneath, coarsely serrated, and obovate or oval in shape. The petioles of the compound

leaves are green or dull red and about 3" long. While actively growing, Wild Strawberry

produces long hairy runners up to 2' long, which re-root to form plantlets. These runners

are often dull red as well.
Each plant can produce one or more clusters of flowers in stalks about 3-4" long, which

also emerge directly from the ground. Each flower is about ¾" across and consists of 5

white petals. Toward the center, there are about 25 yellow stamens surrounding a small

blunt cone. The blooming period occurs during late spring or early summer, and lasts about

1-2 months. There is no noticeable floral scent. Afterwards, small red drupes are produced

that are about ½–¾" long, and shaped like the familiar cultivated strawberry. They are

sweet and edible. Unlike Fragaria vesca (Hillside Strawberry), the yellow achenes occur in

sunken pits along the surface of the drupe.

Cultivation: The preference is full or partial sun and moist to slightly dry conditions. A

rich loamy soil is preferred. Wild Strawberry is a cool-season plant that grows actively

during the spring and fall, but becomes dormant after setting fruit during the hot summer

months. It is an easy plant to grow, which will spread to form a loose ground cover. It is

subject to foliar disease to a lesser extent than most cultivated strawberries.

Range & Habitat: Wild Strawberry is occasional to locally common in most areas of Illinois,

but it is uncommon or absent in parts of NW and southern Illinois (see Distribution Map).

Habitats include moist to mesic black soil prairies, openings and edges of woodlands

(including drier areas), savannas, limestone glades, and areas along railroads. Wild

Strawberry is able to tolerate [Close-Up of Flower] competition from taller plants because

it develops early in the spring, and is able to tolerate some shade later in the year. It

occurs in both degraded and high quality habitats, often not far from woodland areas.

Faunal Associations: The ecological value of Wild Strawberry to various insects, birds, and

animals is high. The flowers attract long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, flies, small

butterflies, and skippers. Among these, small bees are the most important pollinator of the

flowers; this includes such visitors as Little Carpenter bees, Nomadine Cuckoo bees, Mason

bees, Halictid bees, and Andrenine bees. The caterpillars of several species of moths feed

on the foliage and flowers of Wild Strawberry (see Moth Table). Other insects that feed on

Wild Strawberry include Chactosiphum fragraefolii (Strawberry Aphid), Aphis forbesi

(Strawberry Root Aphid), and Otiochynchus ovatus (Strawberry Root Weevil). Various upland

gamebirds, songbirds, and mammals eat the fruit or foliage (see Wildlife Table), including

such prairie-inhabiting species as Tympanuchus cupido (Greater Prairie Chicken) and

Phasianus colchicus (Ring-Necked Pheasant). These birds and animals help to distribute the

seeds far and wide. People also nibble on the fruits.

Photographic Location: The upper photograph was taken along a roadside near Urbana,

Illinois, while the lower photograph was taken at Dave Monk's postage stamp prairie in

Champaign, Illinois.

Comments: This is one of the parent plants for the cultivated hybrid strawberry (the other

plant being native to Chile). The root system forms a symbiotic relationship with

endomycorrhizal bacteria.


(Viola species)
This group of herbaceous (non-woody) plants has a bilaterally symmetrical (2-sided)

5-petaled flowers, often with bushy stamens forming a "beard" inside. Many have tasty,

edible flowers and leaves, although the yellow violet, which grows in wetlands, may cause

gastrointestinal distress. Don't eat African "violets," which aren't true violets.
Common Blue Violet (Viola papilionacea)

This is the most common species, with a sterile violet-colored flower that blooms in the

spring. There are no leaves on the flower stalk. The heart-shaped, shallow-toothed leaves

arise separately from the ground. They're good to eat in springtime, but become tough and

coarse in the summer.

Poisonous dwarf larkspur (Delphinium tricorne) has a similar violet flower, but with a

"spur" behind the flower, and a different leaf. Monkshood (Aconitum uncinatum), also

poisonous, has a large, helmet-like upper sepal that covers 2 petals
Violets grow in partially shaded spots in moist woods, and in meadows and gardens. They

spread by underground rhizomes (which are toxic), creating dense stands of plants.
White Violet Flower

The white violet's flowers and leaves are also edible. Note the "beard" of fuzzy stamens in

the lower petals
Blue-White Violet Hybrid

This hybrid between blue and white species is also quite beautiful and tasty.

Wild Carrot

Queen Anne's Lace
Daucus carota (common names include wild carrot, (UK) bird's nest, bishop's lace, and (US)

Queen Anne's lace) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate regions

of Europe, southwest Asia and naturalised to northeast North America and Australia;

domesticated carrots are cultivars of a subspecies, Daucus carota subsp. sativus.

Daucus carota is a variable biennial plant, usually growing up to 1 m tall and flowering

from June to August. The umbels are claret-coloured or pale pink before they open, then

bright white and rounded when in full flower, measuring 3–7 cm wide with a festoon of

bracts beneath; finally, as they turn to seed, they contract and become concave like a

bird's nest. The dried umbels detach from the plant, becoming tumbleweeds.[1]

Very similar in appearance to the deadly Poison Hemlock, Daucus carota is distinguished by

a mix of bi-pinnate and tri-pinnate leaves, fine hairs on its stems and leaves, a root that

smells like carrots, and occasionally a single dark red flower in its center.

See carrot for the modern cultivated forms of the species.

    * 1 Uses
          o 1.1 Beneficial weed
    * 2 Queen Anne's lace
    * 3 See also
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

[edit] Uses

Like the cultivated carrot, the wild carrot root is edible while young, but quickly becomes

too woody to consume. A teaspoon of crushed seeds has long been used as a form of birth

control; its use for this purpose was first described by Hippocrates over 2,000 years

ago.[citation needed] Research conducted on mice has offered a degree of confirmation for

this use—it was found that wild carrot disrupts the implantation process, which reinforces

its reputation as a contraceptive.[2] Chinese studies have also indicated that the seeds

block progesterone synthesis, which could explain this effect.[citation needed]

As with all herbal remedies and wild food gathering, extra caution should be used,

especially since the wild carrot bears close resemblance to a dangerous species Poison

Hemlock. The leaves of the wild carrot can cause phytophotodermatitis, so caution should

also be used when handling the plant.

The wild carrot, when freshly cut, will draw or change color depending on the color of the

water it is in. Note that this effect is only visible on the "head" or flower of the plant.

Carnation also exhibits this effect. This occurrence is a popular science experiment in

primary grade school.
[edit] Beneficial weed

This beneficial weed can be used as a companion plant to crops. Like most umbellifers it

attracts predatory wasps to its small flowers in its native land; however, where it has

been introduced it attracts only very few of such wasps . This species is also documented

to boost tomato plant production when kept nearby, and it can provide a microclimate of

cooler, moister air for lettuce, when intercropped with it.
[edit] Queen Anne's lace

Wild carrot was introduced and naturalised in North America, where it is often known as

"Queen Anne's lace". It is so called because the flower resembles lace; the red flower in

the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when

she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red flower, coloured by anthocyanin, is

to attract insects.

The USDA has listed it as a noxious weed [3], and it is considered a serious pest in

pastures. It persists in the soil seed bank for two to five years.


A member of the Rubus genus (as are raspberries and blackberries, as well as a dozen or so

other species), the wineberry is native to China and Japan. It was brought to this country

by way of Europe and sold as an ornamental plant during the later part of the nineteenth


Since wineberries (Rubusphoenicolasius) are relatively new to the U.S., they've established

themselves in the wild only throughout most of the eastern states so far. [EDITOR'S

NOTE:Western folks can grow their own, though. In case you don't happen to live in an area

where wineberries flourish, you'll be glad to know that it's possible to purchase plants by

mail from seed companies. One firm that offers the wineberry is Burpee (Dept. TMEN, 300

Park Avenue, Warminster, Pennsylvania 18991). The folks there will sell you one plant for

$5.25,_ five for $8.95, and ten for $14.75 . . . plus a $1.00 handling charge per order.

Burpee advises that the bushes grow best in Zones 5 through 8.J

Like their raspberry cousins, wineberries produce new canes each year, which then bear

fruit the following summer. The brambles usually flower sometime between April and June

(depending upon climate), and their berries ripen approximately two months later.


Fortunately, unlike many of their kin (which often seem to grow best where they're hardest

to find), R.phoenicolasius appear to possess an affinity for being devoured by hungry

berry-hunters .. . be cause their telltale eight- to ten-foot-long canes, which are covered

(all year long) with bright red bristles, are remarkably easy to 'spot. In fact, the

colorful little hairs make it o possible for a forager to scout out wineberry patches well

in advance of harvest time . . . even in the dead of winter, and especially when there's

snow on the ground.
The foliage of the wineberry plant is distinctive, too. Its silky green leaves (with

silvery white undersides) grow in clusters of three, one of which is always noticeably

larger than the other two. White (or sometimes pink) blossoms appear in the spring, but

they seem pale in comparison with the splendid array of color that develops as the berries

themselves ripen.

Growing, picking, preparation and cooking advice for these tasty berries, and recipes for

Canning jars

The lowdown on the safest techniques for keeping Canning...
Canners Come Together

Experience the camaraderie of community canning....
Growing Raspberries and Blackberries

Growing raspberries and blackberries is fun and will help you save money on pricey fruits.

Learn ho...

Once the calyx (which houses the tiny immature morsels) opens to expose the fruit to the

sun, the berries turn from green to yellow to orange, and finally to deep wine red when

they're ready for sampling. (Besides having that characteristic coloration, mature berries

will be slightly sticky to the touch.) At the height of the picking season, the richlooking

berries glistening amidst the lush green foliage and scarlet-furred branches make a

wineberry thicket both a dramatic and an unmistakable sight.


When you're ready to visit the briar patch, arm yourself with plenty of containers . . .

because wineberries tend to grow in abundance. And be sure to wear good thick socks and

high boots for protection against snakes and poison ivy . . . since the tangled clusters of

canes are often home to both.

Carnelian Cherry

The European Cornel (Cornus mas) is a species of dogwood native to southern Europe and

southwest Asia. In North America, the plant is known by the common name of Cornelian


It is a medium to large deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5–12 m tall, with dark

brown branches and greenish twigs. The leaves are opposite, 4–10 cm long and 2–4 cm broad,

with an ovate to oblong shape and an entire margin. The flowers are small (5–10 mm

diameter), with four yellow petals, produced in clusters of 10–25 together in the late

winter, well before the leaves appear. The fruit is an oblong red drupe 2 cm long and 1.5

cm in diameter, containing a single seed.
The fruit is edible, but the unripe fruit is astringent. The fruit only fully ripens after

it falls from the tree. When ripe, the fruit is dark ruby red. It has an acidic flavour

which is best described as a mixture of cranberry and sour cherry; it is mainly used for

making jam, makes an excellent sauce similar to cranberry sauce when pitted and then boiled

with sugar and orange, but also can be eaten dried. In Azerbaijan and Armenia, the fruit is

used for distilling vodka, while in Albania it is distilled into raki. In Turkey and Iran

it is eaten with salt as a snack in summer, and traditionally drunk in a cold drink called

kizilcik sherbeti. Cultivars selected for fruit production in Ukraine have fruit up to 4 cm

long. The berries when ripe on the plant bear a resemblance to coffee berries, and ripen in

mid to late summer.
[edit] Flowers
European Cornel flowering

The species is also grown as an ornamental plant for its late winter flowers, which open

earlier than those of forsythia, and, while not as large and vibrant as those of the

forsythia, the entire plant can be used for a similar effect in the landscape.
[edit] Wood

The wood of C. mas is extremely dense, and unlike the wood of most other woody plant

species, sinks in water. This density makes it valuable for crafting into tool handles,

parts for machines, etc.[1] Cornus mas was used from the seventh century B.C. onward by

Greek craftsman to construct spears, javelins and bows, the craftsmen considering it far

superior to any other wood.[2] The wood's association with weaponry was so well known that

the Greek name for it was used as a synonym for "spear" in poetry during the fourth and

third centuries B.C.[2]

The red dye used to make fezzes was produced from its bark and tannin is produced from its



Black Raspberry

Rubus occidentalis is a species of Rubus native to eastern North America. Its common name

black raspberry is shared with the closely related western American species Rubus

leucodermis. Other names occasionally used include wild black raspberry, black caps, black

cap raspberry, thimbleberry,[1][2] and scotch cap.[3]

Rubus occidentalis is a deciduous shrub growing to 2–3 m tall, with prickly shoots. The

leaves are pinnate, with five leaflets on leaves strong-growing stems in their first year,

and three leaflets on leaves on flowering branchlets. The flowers are distinct in having

long, slender sepals 6–8 mm long, more than twice as long as the petals. The round-shaped

fruit is a 12–15 mm diameter aggregation of drupelets; it is edible, and has a high content

of anthocyanins and ellagic acid.[4][5]

Black raspberries are high in anthocyanins. This has led to their being very useful as

natural dyes and, since anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, to a great deal of interest

in them for their potential nutraceutical value. Extensive work has been ongoing at Ohio

State University to evaluate their benefit for cancer treatment in mammalian test

systems,[6] and the first clinical trials on patients with esophageal cancer.[7]

The black raspberry is also closely related to the red raspberries Rubus idaeus and Rubus

strigosus, sharing the distinctively white underside of the leaves and fruit that readily

detaches from the carpel, but differing in the ripe fruit being black, and in the stems

being more prickly. The black fruit makes them look like blackberries, though this is only

superficial, with the taste being unique and not like either the red raspberry or the

blackberry. In much of the Mid-Atlantic United States, black raspberries are simply called

blackberries, even though they are not.

As suggested by the common name, black raspberries usually have very dark purple-black

fruits, rich in anthocyanin pigments. However, due to occasional mutations in the genes

controlling anthocyanin production, yellow-fruited variants (yellow raspberries) sometimes

occur, and have been occasionally propagated, especially in home/farm gardens in the

midwestern United States (e.g., Ohio). The yellow-fruited variants of the black raspberry

retain that species' distinctive flavor, different from the similar-appearing pale-fruited

variants of cultivated red raspberries (generally the Eurasian Rubus idaeus, but with some

being the North American Rubus strigosus, and other cultivars representing hybrids between

these two widespread species).
[edit] Commercial growing and processing
A basket of black raspberries
Black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis L.) being grown commercially in Korea

The center for black raspberry production is in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The main

cultivar, 'Munger', is grown on about 600 ha (1500 acres). Other cultivars include 'John

Robertson', 'Allen', 'Jewel', 'Blackhawk', 'Macblack', 'Plum Farmer', 'Dundee', 'Hanover',

and 'Huron'. The plants are summer tipped by hand, mechanically pruned in winter and then

machine harvested. The yields are generally low per acre and this is why the fruits are

often expensive.

The species has been used in the breeding of many Rubus hybrids; those between red and

black raspberries are common under the name purple raspberries; 'Brandywine', 'Royalty' and

'Estate' are examples of purple raspberry cultivars.

The berries are typically dried, frozen or made into purées and juices or processed as

colorants. Two well known liqueurs predominantly based on black raspberry fruit include

France's Chambord Liqueur Royale de France and South Korea's various manufacturers of

Bokbunja (see Korean alcoholic beverages).


Black Cherry

Prunus serotina, commonly called Black Cherry, Wild Black Cherry, Rum Cherry, or Mountain

Black Cherry, is a woody plant species belonging to the genus Prunus. This cherry is native

to eastern North America: from Eastern Canada through southern Quebec and Ontario; south

through the Eastern United States to Texas and central Florida; with disjunct populations

in Arizona and New Mexico; and in the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala.[2][3]
Immature fruit

    * 1 Description
    * 2 Subspecies
    * 3 Ecology
    * 4 Cultivation and uses
    * 5 Biochemistry
    * 6 References

[edit] Description

The Black Cherry is a species in the subgenus Padus with flowers in racemes, and is a

deciduous tree growing to 15–30 m tall with a trunk diameter of up to 70–120 cm,

occasionally more. The leaves are simple, 6–14 cm long, with a serrated margin. The flowers

are small (10–15 mm diameter), with five white petals and about 20 stamens, and are

fragrant; there are around 40 flowers on each raceme. The fruit is a drupe, 1 cm diameter,

green to red at first, ripening black; it is usually astringent and bitter when eaten

fresh, but also somewhat sweet. The fruit is readily eaten by birds.[2][4]
Closeup of Bark

A mature Black Cherry can easily be identified in a forest by its very broken, dark grey to

black bark, which has the appearance of very thick, burnt potato chips. However, for about

the first decade or so of its life, the bark resembles that of a Birch, and is thin and

striped. It can also quickly be identified by its long, shiny leaves resembling that of a

Sourwood, and by an almond-like odor when a young twig is scratched and held close to the

[edit] Subspecies

There are two subspecies:[7]

    * Prunus serotina subsp. serotina. Canada, United States.
    * Prunus serotina subsp. capuli (Cav.) McVaugh. Mexico, Guatemala.

The typical subsp. serotina is sometimes further divided into four varieties, var. serotina

in the east of the range, var. eximia in Texas, and vars. rufula and virens in Arizona, New

Mexico and Texas.[3]

Black Cherry is closely related to the Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), however Chokecherry

is classified as a shrub or small tree and has smaller and less glossy leaves.
[edit] Ecology

The Black Cherry is a pioneer species. In the Midwest, it is seen growing mostly in old

fields with other sunlight loving species, such as Black Walnut, Black locust, and

Hackberry. It is a moderately long-lived tree, with ages of up to 258 years known, though

it is prone to storm damage with branches breaking easily; any decay resulting however only

progresses slowly.[2] It is well known to proliferate in the Allegheny National Forest

region of northwest Pennsylvania.

The Black Cherry is also a host of caterpillars of various Lepidoptera (see List of

Lepidoptera which feed on Prunus). The Eastern tent caterpillar defoliates entire groves

some springs.
Black knot infection
[edit] Cultivation and uses

The fruit is suitable for making jam, cherry pies and has some use in flavoring liqueurs;

they are also a popular flavoring for sodas and used in many ice creams. The black cherry

is commonly used instead of sweet cherries (Prunus avium) in order to achieve a sharper

taste. It is also used in cakes which involve dark chocolate such as a Black Forest gateau

and as garnishes to drinks like cocktails.[citation needed]

The timber is valuable, perhaps the premier cabinetry timber of the U.S., traded as

"cherry". It is known for its strong red color and high price. Its weight per cubic meter

when dried is around 580 kg.[8]

The wood is also used for cooking and smoking foods, where it imparts a unique flavor.

The foliage, particularly when wilted, contains cyanogenic glycosides which convert to

hydrogen cyanide if eaten by animals.[4] It is recommended that farmers remove any Black

Cherry trees that fall in a field containing livestock, because the wilted leaves could

poison the animals. Removal is not always practical though, because Black Cherries often

grow in very large numbers on farms, taking advantage of the light brought about by mowing

and grazing. Entire fencerows can be lined with this poisonous tree, making it difficult to

monitor all the branches falling into the grazing area.

Black Cherry is locally naturalized in parts of Europe, having escaped from cultivation as

an ornamental tree.[9]

P. serotina was widely introduced into Central Europe in the mid 20th century.[10][11] It

has acted as an invasive species there, negatively impacting forest community diversity and

[edit] Biochemistry

Like apricots, the seeds of black cherries contain compounds that can be converted into

cyanide, such as amygdalin.[13][14] These compounds release hydrogen cyanide when the seed

is ground or minced, which releases enzymes that break down the compounds. These enzymes

include amygdalin beta-glucosidase, prunasin beta-glucosidase and mandelonitrile lyase.[15]

In contrast, although the flesh of cherries also contain these compounds, they do not

contain the enzymes needed to produce cyanide, so the flesh is safe to eat.

Black Birch

Betula lenta (Sweet Birch, also known as Black Birch, Cherry Birch, Mahogany Birch, or

Spice Birch) is a species of birch native to eastern North America, from southern Maine

west to southernmost Ontario, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia.
[edit] Characteristics and habitat

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 20 m tall with a trunk up to 60 cm diameter.

The bark is (unlike most birches) rough, dark blackish-brown, cracking into irregular scaly

plates. The twigs, when scraped, have a strong scent of oil of wintergreen. The leaves are

alternate, ovate, 5-10 cm long and 4-8 cm broad, with a finely serrated margin. The flowers

are wind-pollinated catkins 3-6 cm long, the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins

erect. The fruit, maturing in fall, is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed

between the catkin bracts.
[edit] Uses

Betula lenta was used commercially in the past for production of oil of wintergreen before

modern industrial synthesis; the tree's name reflects this scent of the shoots.

The sap flows about a month later than maple sap, and much faster. The trees can be tapped

in a similar fashion, but must be gathered about three times more often. Birch sap can be

boiled the same as maple sap, but its syrup is stronger (like molasses).

Betula lenta's leaves serve as food for some lepidopteran caterpillars. See List of

Lepidoptera that feed on birches.
Growing in forests throughout eastern North America, this common native tree's cambium (the

green layer under the bark) contains the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory oil of

wintergreen, which you can smell if you scratch-and-sniff the twigs or bark.

Chew on the delicious twigs like chewing gum (this also alleviates bad breath), or steep

them for tea. A strong cup may be the equivalent of 1/4 to 1/2 an aspirin.
Chewing on the twigs tastes great, and it reduces the pain of teething.

Wild Blackberries

The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by any of several species in the Rubus genus of

the Rosaceae family. The fruit is not a true berry; botanically it is termed an aggregate

fruit, composed of small drupelets. The plants typically have biennial canes and perennial

roots. Blackberries and raspberries are also called caneberries or brambles. It is a

widespread, and well known group of over 375 species, many of which are closely related

apomictic microspecies native throughout the temperate northern hemisphere and South


    * 1 Growth and anatomical description
    * 2 Ecology
    * 3 Cultivation and uses
          o 3.1 Diseases and pests
          o 3.2 Commercial cultivars
    * 4 Nutrients and antioxidant qualities
          o 4.1 Nutrient content of seeds
    * 5 Superstition and myths
    * 6 Gallery
    * 7 See also
    * 8 References
    * 9 External links

[edit] Growth and anatomical description

Blackberries are perennial plants which typically bear biennial stems ("canes") from the

perennial root system.[2]

In its first year, a new stem, the primocane, grows vigorously to its full length of 3–6 m

(in some cases, up to 9 m), arching or trailing along the ground and bearing large

palmately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets; it does not produce any flowers. In

its second year, the cane becomes a floricane and the stem does not grow longer, but the

lateral buds break to produce flowering laterals (which have smaller leaves with three or

five leaflets).[2] First and second year shoots usually have numerous short curved very

sharp prickles. Prickle-free cultivars have been developed. Recently the University of

Arkansas has developed primocane fruiting blackberries that grow and flower on first year

growth much as the primocane-fruiting (also called fall bearing or everbearing) red

raspberries do.

Unmanaged mature plants form a tangle of dense arching stems, the branches rooting from the

node tip on many species when they reach the ground. Vigorous and growing rapidly in woods,

scrub, hillsides and hedgerows, blackberry shrubs tolerate poor soils, readily colonizing

wasteland, ditches and vacant lots.[1][3]

The flowers are produced in late spring and early summer on short racemes on the tips of

the flowering laterals.[2] Each flower is about 2–3 cm in diameter with five white or pale

pink petals.[2]
A bee pollinating blackberries

The drupelets only develop around ovules that are fertilized by the male gamete from a

pollen grain. The most likely cause of undeveloped ovules is inadequate pollinator

visits.[4] Even a small change in conditions, such as a rainy day or a day too hot for bees

to work after early morning, can reduce the number of bee visits to the flower, thus

reducing the quality of the fruit. Incomplete drupelet development can also be a symptom of

exhausted reserves in the plant's roots, or infection with a virus such as Raspberry bushy

dwarf virus.

In botanical terminology, the fruit is not a berry, but an aggregate fruit of numerous

[edit] Ecology

Blackberry leaves are food for certain caterpillars; some grazing mammals, especially deer,

are also very fond of the leaves. Caterpillars of the concealer moth Alabonia geoffrella

have been found feeding inside dead blackberry shoots.
[edit] Cultivation and uses

Primary cultivation takes place in the state of Oregon located in the United States of

America. Recorded in 1995 and 2006: 6,180 acres (25.0 km2) to 6,900 acres (28 km2) of

blackberries, producing 42.6 to 41.5 million pounds, making Oregon the leading blackberry

producer in the world.[5][6] While Oregon may lead the world in volume of fruit produced,

Serbia has tremendous acreage and Mexico has had dramatically increasing acreage and may

soon lead the world.

The soft fruit is popular for use in desserts, jams, seedless jellies and sometimes wine.

It is often mixed with apples for pies and crumbles.

Good nectar producers, blackberry shrubs bearing flowers yield a medium to dark, fruity

Blackberry flower.

The blackberry is known to contain polyphenol antioxidants, naturally occurring chemicals

that can upregulate certain beneficial metabolic processes in mammals. The astringent

blackberry root is sometimes used in herbal medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and

dysentery.[7] The related but smaller dewberry can be distinguished by the white, waxy

coating on the fruits, which also usually have fewer drupelets. (Rubus caesius) is in its

own section (Caesii) within the subgenus Rubus.

In some parts of the world, such as in Australia, Chile, New Zealand and the Pacific

Northwest region of North America, some blackberry species, particularly Rubus armeniacus

(syn. R. procerus, 'Himalaya') and Rubus laciniatus ('Evergreen') are naturalised and

considered an invasive species and a serious weed.[1]

As there is forensic evidence from the Iron Age Haraldskær Woman that she consumed

blackberries some 2500 years ago, it is reasonable to conclude that blackberries have been

eaten by humans over thousands of years.
[edit] Diseases and pests
Wiki letter w cropped.svg     This section requires expansion.

The spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii is a serious pest of blackberries. Unlike

its vinegar fly relatives which are primarily attracted to rotting or fermented fruit, D.

suzukii attacks fresh, ripe fruit by laying eggs under the soft skin. The larvae hatch and

grow in the fruit, destroying the fruit's commercial value.
[edit] Commercial cultivars
Black Butte blackberry

Numerous cultivars have been selected for commercial and amateur cultivation in Europe[1]

and United States.[8] Since the many species form hybrids easily, there are numerous

cultivars with more than one species in their ancestry.

'Marion' (marketed as "marionberry") is an important cultivar that was selected from

seedlings from a cross between 'Chehalem' and 'Olallie' (commonly called "olallieberry")

berries.[9] It is claimed to "capture the best attributes of both berries and yields an

aromatic bouquet and an intense blackberry flavor". The marionberry was introduced by

George F. Waldo of the USDA-ARS in Corvallis, Oregon in 1956. Adapted to Western Oregon,

the marionberry is named after Marion County, Oregon, in which it was tested extensively.

'Olallie' in turn is a cross between loganberry and youngberry. 'Marion', 'Chehalem' and

'Olallie' are just three of many trailing blackberry cultivars developed by the United

States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) blackberry

breeding program at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

The most recent cultivars released from this program are the thornless cultivars 'Black

Diamond', 'Black Pearl' and 'Nightfall' as well as the very early ripening 'Obsidian' and

'Metolius'. 'Black Diamond' is now the leading cultivar being planted in the Pacific

Northwest. Some of the other cultivars from this program are 'Waldo', 'Siskiyou', 'Black

Butte', 'Kotata', 'Pacific' and 'Cascade'.[10]

Trailing blackberries are vigorous, crown forming, require a trellis for support, and are

less cold hardy than the erect or semi-erect blackberries. In addition to the U.S. Pacific

Northwest, these types do well in similar climates such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand,

Chile, and the Mediterranean countries.

Semi-erect, thornless blackberries were first developed at the John Innes Centre in

Norwich, UK, and subsequently by the USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland. These are crown

forming, very vigorous, and need a trellis for support. Cultivars include 'Black Satin'

'Chester Thornless', 'Dirksen Thornless', 'Hull Thornless', 'Loch Ness', 'Loch Tay',

'Merton Thornless', 'Smoothstem' and 'Triple Crown'. Recently, the cultivar 'Cacanska

Bestrna' (also called 'Cacak Thornless') has been developed in Serbia and has been planted

on many thousands of hectares there.

The University of Arkansas has developed cultivars of erect blackberries. These types are

less vigorous than the semi-erect types and produce new canes from root initials (therefore

they spread underground like raspberries). There are thornless and thorny cultivars from

this program, including 'Navaho', 'Ouachita', 'Cherokee', 'Apache', 'Arapaho' and 'Kiowa'.

They are also responsible for developing the primocane fruiting blackberries such as

'Prime-Jan' and 'Prime-Jim'.

In raspberries, these types are called primocane fruiting, fall fruiting, or everbearing.

'Prime-Jim' and 'Prime-Jan' were released in 2004 and are the first cultivars of primocane

fruiting blackberry.[citation needed] They grow much like the other erect cultivars

described above, however the canes that emerge in the spring, will flower in mid-summer and

fruit in late summer or fall. The fall crop has its highest quality when it ripens in cool

mild climate such as in California or the Pacific Northwest.[citation needed]

'Illini Hardy' a semi-erect thorny cultivar introduced by the University of Illinois is

cane hardy in zone 5, where traditionally blackberry production has been problematic, since

canes often failed to survive the winter.

The blackberry tends to be red during its unripe ("green") phase, leading to an old

expression that "blackberries are red when they're green".

In various parts of the United States, wild blackberries are sometimes called "Black-caps",

a term more commonly used for black raspberries, Rubus occidentalis.

Blackberry production in Mexico has expanded enormously in the past decade. While once

based on the cultivar 'Brazos', an old erect blackberry cultivar developed in Texas in

1959, the Mexican industry is now dominated by the Brazilian 'Tupy' released in the 1990s.

'Tupy' has the erect blackberry 'Comanche' and a "wild Uruguayan blackberry" as

parents.[11] Since there are no native blackberries in Uruguay, the suspicion is that the

widely grown 'Boysenberry' is the male parent. In order to produce these blackberries in

regions of Mexico where there is no winter chilling to stimulate flower bud development,

chemical defoliation and application of growth regulators are used to bring the plants into

[edit] Nutrients and antioxidant qualities

Blackberries are notable for their high nutritional contents of dietary fiber, vitamin C,

vitamin K, folic acid - a B vitamin, and the essential mineral, manganese (table).
Nutrients in raw blackberries[12] Nutrient     Value per 100 grams      % Daily Value
Energy     43 kcal    
Fiber, total dietary     5.3 g     21%
Sugars, total     4.9 g    
Calcium, Ca     29 mg     3%
Magnesium, Mg     20 mg     5%
Manganese, Mn     0.6 mg     32%
Copper, Cu     0.2 mg     8%
Potassium, K     162 mg     5%
Sodium, Na     1 mg     0%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid     21 mg     35%
Vitamin A, IU     214 IU     4%
Vitamin K, µg     20 µg     25%
Folic acid, µg     36 µg     9%
Carotene, beta     128 µg     ne
Lutein + zeaxanthin     118 µg     ne

ne: Daily Value not established

Blackberries rank highly among fruits for antioxidant strength, particularly due to their

dense contents of polyphenolic compounds, such as ellagic acid, tannins, ellagitannins,

quercetin, gallic acid, anthocyanins and cyanidins.[13][14]

Blackberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of 5347 per 100 grams,

including them among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Another report using a different assay for

assessing antioxidant strength placed blackberry at the top of more than 1000 antioxidant

foods consumed in the United States.[15]
[edit] Nutrient content of seeds

Blackberries are exceptional among other Rubus berries for their numerous, large seeds not

always preferred by consumers. They contain rich amounts of omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid)

and -6 fats (linoleic acid), protein, dietary fiber, carotenoids, ellagitannins and ellagic



Beach Plum

Prunus maritima (Beach Plum) is a species of plum native to the Atlantic coast of North

America, from Maine south to Maryland.[1][2] Although sometimes listed as extending to New

Brunswick, the species is not known from collections there, and does not appear in the most

authoritative works on the flora of that Canadian province.[3]

It is a deciduous shrub, in its natural sand dune habitat growing 1-2 m high, although it

can grow larger, up to 4 m tall, when cultivated in gardens. The leaves are alternate,

elliptical, 3-7 cm long and 2-4 cm broad, with a sharply serrated margin. They are colored

green on top and pale below, becoming showy in the autumn. The flowers are 1-1.5 cm

diameter, with five white petals and large yellow anthers. The fruit is an edible drupe

1.5-2 cm diameter in the wild plant.[4][5]

A plant with rounded leaves, of which only a single specimen has ever been found in the

wild, has been described as Prunus maritima var. gravesii (Small) G.J.Anderson,[6] though

its taxonomic status is questionable, and it may be better considered a cultivar Prunus

maritima 'Gravesii'.[7] The original plant, found in Connecticut, died in about 2000, but

it is maintained in cultivation from rooted cuttings.[6]

The plant is salt-tolerant and cold-hardy. It prefers the full sun and well-drained soil.

It spreads roots by putting out suckers but in coarse soil puts down a tap root. In dunes

it is often partly buried in drifting sand. It blooms in mid-May and June. The fruit ripens

in August and early September.

The species is endangered in Maine, where it is in serious decline due to commercial

development of its beach habitats.[4]
[edit] Cultivation and uses

The species is grown commercially for its fruit to a small extent, used to make jam.[8] It

can be eaten out of hand and usually is a sweet snack although it is much smaller in size

when compared to the longer cultivated Asian varieties found in the supermarket. A number

of cultivars have been selected for larger and better flavored fruit, including 'Eastham',

'Oceanview', 'Hancock' and 'Squibnocket'



The peach tree (Prunus persica) is a species of Prunus native to China that bears an edible

juicy fruit called a peach. It is a deciduous tree growing to 4–10 m (13–33 ft) tall,

belonging to the subfamily Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae. It is classified with the

almond in the subgenus Amygdalus within the genus Prunus, distinguished from the other

subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.

The leaves are lanceolate, 7–16 cm (2.8–6.3 in) long, 2–3 cm (0.79–1.2 in) broad, pinnately

veined. The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or

paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals. The fruit has yellow or whitish flesh, a

delicate aroma, and a skin that is either velvety (peaches) or smooth (nectarines) in

different cultivars. The flesh is very delicate and easily bruised in some cultivars, but

is fairly firm in some commercial varieties, especially when green. The single, large seed

is red-brown, oval shaped, approximately 1.3–2 cm long, and is surrounded by a wood-like

husk. Peaches, along with cherries, plums and apricots, are stone fruits (drupes).

The scientific name persica, along with the word "peach" itself and its cognates in many

European languages, derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to

Persia (now Iran). The modern botanical consensus is that they originate in China, and were

introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road before Christian

times.[1] Cultivated peaches are divided into clingstones and freestones, depending on

whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both can have either white or yellow flesh.

Peaches with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed

peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies

greatly. Both colours often have some red on their skin. Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are

the most popular kinds in China, Japan, and neighbouring Asian countries, while Europeans

and North Americans have historically favoured the acidic, yellow-fleshed kinds.

    * 1 History
    * 2 Cultivation
          o 2.1 Nectarines
          o 2.2 Diseases
          o 2.3 Planting
          o 2.4 Storage
    * 3 Asian tradition
    * 4 Nutrition and health
    * 5 Gallery
    * 6 References
    * 7 External links

[edit] History

Although its botanical name Prunus persica suggests the peach is native to Persia, peaches

actually originated in China where they have been cultivated since the early days of

Chinese culture. Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century

BC and were a favoured fruit of kings and emperors. Recently, the history of cultivation of

peaches in China has been extensively reviewed citing numerous original manuscripts dating

back to 1100 BC.[2]

Its English name derives originally from the Latin Prunus persica, then persica, then

pessica, then pesca, then the French pêche, then peach in Middle English.[citation needed]

The peach was brought to India and Western Asia in ancient times.[3] Alexander the Great

introduced the fruit into Europe after he conquered the Persians.[3] Then it was brought to

the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 16th century and eventually made it to England and

France in the 17th century, where it was a prized, albeit rare, treat.[citation needed]

The horticulturist George Minifie supposedly brought the first peaches from England to its

North American colonies in the early 17th century, planting them at his Estate of Buckland

in Virginia.[4]

Various American Indian tribes are credited with spreading the peach tree across the United

States, taking seeds along with them and planting as they roved the country.

Although Thomas Jefferson had peach trees at Monticello, United States farmers did not

begin commercial production until the 19th century in Maryland, Delaware, Georgia and

finally Virginia. California today grows 65% of peaches grown for commercial production in

the United States,[5] but the states of Colorado, Michigan, and Washington also grow a

significant amount. Italy, China, India and Greece are major producers of peaches outside

of the United States.

In 2010, a team of researchers at Clemson University, USA, announced they had sequenced the

peach tree genome (doubled haploid Lovell).[6][7]
[edit] Cultivation
Worldwide peach and nectarine output in 2005. The major producer, China, is in green;

smaller producers are in yellow; the smallest producers are in red.

Peach plants grow very well in a fairly limited range, since they have a chilling

requirement that tropical areas cannot satisfy, and they are not very cold-hardy. The trees

themselves can usually tolerate temperatures to around -26 to -30 °C (-15 to -22 °F),

although the following season's flower buds are usually killed at these temperatures,

leading to no crop that summer. Flower bud kill begins to occur between -15 and -25 °C (5

and -13 °F) depending on the cultivar (some are more cold-tolerant than others) and the

timing of the cold, with the buds becoming less cold tolerant in late winter.[8] Certain

cultivars are more tender and others can tolerate a few degrees colder. In addition, a lot

of summer heat is required to mature the crop, with mean temperatures of the hottest month

between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F). Another problematic issue in many peach-growing areas

is spring frost. The trees tend to flower fairly early in spring. The blooms often can be

damaged or killed by freezes; typically, if temperatures drop below about −4 °C (24.8 °F),

most flowers will be killed. However, if the flowers are not fully open, they can tolerate

a couple of degrees colder.[citation needed]

Important historical peach-producing areas are China, Iran, France, and the Mediterranean

countries like Italy, Spain and Greece. More recently, the United States (where the three

largest-producing states are California, South Carolina,[9] and Georgia[10]), Canada

(British Columbia), and Australia (the Riverland region) have also become important; peach

growing in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, Canada, was formerly intensive but slowed

substantially in 2008 when the last fruit cannery in Canada was closed by the

proprietors.[11] Oceanic climate areas like the Pacific Northwest and coastline of North

Western Europe are generally not satisfactory for peach-growing due to inadequate summer

heat, though they are sometimes grown trained against south-facing walls to catch extra

heat from the sun. Trees grown in a sheltered and south-facing position in the southeast of

England are capable of producing both flowers and a large crop of fruit. In Vietnam, the

most famous variety of peach fruit product is grown in Mẫu Sơn commune, Lộc Bình district,

Lạng Sơn province.

For home gardeners, semi-dwarf (3 to 4 m (9.8 to 13 ft)) and dwarf (2 to 3 m (6 ft 7 in to

9 ft 10 in)) varieties have been developed by grafting desirable cultivars onto dwarfing

rootstock. Fruit size is not affected. Another mutation is flowering peaches, selected for

ornamental display rather than fruit production.

Depending on climate and cultivar, peach harvest can occur from late May into August;

harvest from each tree lasts about a week.
[edit] Nectarines
White nectarines, whole and cut open

The nectarine is a cultivar group of peach that has a smooth skin. Though fuzzy peaches and

nectarines are regarded commercially as different fruits, with nectarines often erroneously

believed to be a crossbreed between peaches and plums, or a "peach with a plum skin", they

belong to the same species as peaches. Several genetic studies have concluded in fact that

nectarines are created due to a recessive gene, whereas a fuzzy peach skin is dominant.[12]

Nectarines have arisen many times from peach trees, often as bud sports.

As with peaches, nectarines can be white or yellow, and clingstone or freestone. On

average, nectarines are slightly smaller and sweeter than peaches, but with much

overlap.[12] The lack of skin fuzz can make nectarine skins appear more reddish than those

of peaches, contributing to the fruit's plum-like appearance. The lack of down on

nectarines' skin also means their skin is more easily bruised than peaches.

The history of the nectarine is unclear; the first recorded mention in English is from

1616,[13] but they had probably been grown much earlier within the native range of the

peach in central and eastern Asia. Nectarines were introduced into the United States by

David Fairchild of the Department of Agriculture in 1906.[14]
[edit] Diseases
Main article: List of peach and nectarine diseases

The trees are prone to a disease called leaf curl, which usually does not directly affect

the fruit but does reduce the crop yield by partially defoliating the tree. The fruit is

very susceptible to brown rot, or a dark reddish spot.
[edit] Planting
The developmental sequence of a nectarine over a 7 1⁄2-month period, from bud formation in

early winter to fruit ripening in midsummer (see image page for further information)

Most peach trees sold by nurseries are named cultivars budded or grafted onto a suitable

rootstock. It is also possible to grow a tree from either a peach or nectarine seed, but

the fruit quality of the resulting tree will be very unpredictable.

Peaches should be located in full sun, and with good air flow. This allows cold air to flow

away on frosty nights and keeps the area cool in summer. Peaches are best planted in early

winter, as this allows time for the roots to establish and to sustain the new spring

growth. When planting in rows, plant north–south.

For optimum growth, peach trees require a constant supply of water. This should be

increased shortly before the harvest. The best tasting fruit is produced when the peach is

watered throughout the season. Drip irrigation is ideal, with at least one dripper per

tree. Although it is better to use multiple drippers around the tree, this is not

necessary. A quarter of the root being watered is sufficient.

Peaches have a high nutrient requirement, needing more nitrogen than most other fruit

trees. An NPK fertilizer can be applied regularly, and an additional mulch of poultry

manure in autumn soon after the harvest will benefit the tree. If the leaves of the peach

are yellow or small, the tree needs more nitrogen. Blood meal and bone meal, 3–5 kilograms

(6.6–11 lb) per mature tree, or calcium ammonium nitrate, 0.5–1 kilogram (1.1–2.2 lb), are

suitable fertilizers. This also applies if the tree is putting forth little growth.

If the full amount of peaches is left, they will be under-sized and lacking in sugar and

flavour. In dry conditions, extra watering is important. The fruit should be thinned when

they have reached 2 centimetres (0.79 in) in diameter, usually about two months after

flowering. Fresh fruit are best consumed on the day of picking, and do not keep well. They

are best eaten when the fruit is slightly soft, having aroma, and heated by the sun.
[edit] Storage

Peaches should be stored at room temperature and refrigeration should be avoided as this

can lessen the taste of the peach. Peaches do not ripen after being picked from the tree,

so storing for ripening is not necessary.[15]
[edit] Asian tradition
    This section contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see

question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
The Chinese flat peach, also called Paraguaya (Paraguayan)

Peaches are known in China, Japan, Korea, Laos, and Vietnam not only as a popular fruit but

for the many folk tales and traditions associated with it.

In China, the peach (Chinese: 桃; pinyin: táo) was said to be consumed by the immortals due

to its mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who ate them. The divinity Yu Huang,

also called the Jade Emperor, and his mother Xi Wangmu, also known as Queen Mother of the

West, ensured the gods' everlasting existence by feeding them the peaches of immortality.

The immortals residing in the palace of Xi Wangmu were said to celebrate an extravagant

banquet called the Pantao Hui or "The Feast of Peaches". The immortals waited six thousand

years before gathering for this magnificent feast; the peach tree put forth leaves once

every thousand years and it required another three thousand years for the fruit to ripen.

Ivory statues depicting Xi Wangmu's attendants often held three peaches.
A Chinese Song Dynasty painting of a bird and peach blossom, by Emperor Huizong of Song,

11th century. The bird resembles and is most likely a type of pigeon. A favourite of many

pigeons are leaves of the plum family (which includes peaches etc).

. The peach often plays an important part in Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long

life. One example is in the peach-gathering story of Zhang Daoling, who some say is the

true founder of Taoism. Elder Zhang Guo, one of the Chinese Eight Immortals, is often

depicted carrying a Peach of Immortality. Peach blossoms are highly prized in Chinese

culture and because they appear before a single leaf has sprouted, the ancient Chinese

believed the peach to possess more vitality than any other tree. When early rulers of China

visited their territories they were preceded by sorcerers armed with peach rods to protect

them from spectral evils. On the last day of the year local magistrates would cut peach

wood branches and place them over their doors to protect against evil influences.[16] Peach

kernels (桃仁 táo rén) are a common ingredient used in Traditional Chinese medicine to dispel

blood stasis, counter inflammation and reduce allergies.[17]

It was in an orchard of flowering peach trees that Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei took an

oath of brotherhood in the opening chapter of the classic Chinese novel Romance of the

Three Kingdoms.

Momotaro, one of Japan's most noble and semi-historical heroes, was born from within an

enormous peach floating down a stream. Momotaro or "Peach Boy" went on to fight evil oni

and face many adventures.

In Korea, peaches have been cultivated from ancient times. According to Samguk Sagi, peach

trees were planted during the Three Kingdoms of Korea period, and Sallim gyeongje also

mentions cultivation skills of peach trees. Peach is seen as the fruit of happiness,

riches, honours and longevity. It is one of the ten immortal plants and animals, so peach

appears in many minhwa (folk painting). It is believed that peach and peach trees chase

away spirits, so peach is not placed on the table for jesa (ancestor veneration) unlike

other fruits.[18][19]

A Vietnamese mythic history states that, in the spring of 1789, after marching to Ngọc Hồi

and then winning a great victory against invaders from the Qing Dynasty of China, the King

Quang Trung ordered a messenger to gallop to Phú Xuân citadel (Huế nowadays) and deliver a

flowering peach branch to the Princess Ngọc Hân. This took place on the fifth day of the

first lunar month, two days before the predicted end of the battle. The branch of peach

flowers that was sent from the North to the Centre of Vietnam was not only a message of

victory from the King to his wife, but also the start of a new spring of peace and

happiness for all the Vietnamese people. In addition to that, since the land of Nhật Tân

had freely given that very branch of peach flowers to the King, it became the loyal garden

of his dynasty.

A peach tree is also the context in which Kim Trọng and Thuý Kiều fell in love in The Tale

of Kieu. And in Vietnam, the blossoming peach flower is the signal of spring. Finally,

peach bonsai trees are used as decoration during Vietnamese New Year (Tết) in Northern

[edit] Nutrition and health
Wiki letter w cropped.svg     This section requires expansion.

A medium peach 75 g (2.6 oz), has 30 Cal, 7 g of carbohydrate (6 g sugars and 1 g fibre), 1

g of protein, 140 mg of potassium, and 8% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C.[20]

As with many other members of the rose family, peach seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides,

including amygdalin (note the subgenus designation: Amygdalus). These substances are

capable of decomposing into a sugar molecule and hydrogen cyanide gas. While peach seeds

are not the most toxic within the rose family, that dubious honour going to the bitter

almond, large doses of these chemicals from any source are hazardous to human health.

Peach allergy or intolerance is a relatively common form of hypersensitivity to proteins

contained in peaches and related fruit (almonds). Symptoms range from local symptoms (e.g.

oral allergy syndrome, contact urticaria) to systemic symptoms including anaphylaxis (e.g.

urticaria, angioedema, gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms).[21] Adverse reactions

are related to the "freshness" of the fruit: peeled or canned fruit may be tolerated.



The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose

family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely

known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans.

The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, the Alma, is still found

today. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired

characteristics. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when

grown on the same rootstock.[2]

At least 55 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2005, with a value of about

$10 billion. China produced about 35% of this total.[3] The United States is the

second-leading producer, with more than 7.5% of world production. Iran is third, followed

by Turkey, Russia, Italy and India.
In the wild, apples grow quite readily from seeds. However, like most perennial fruits,

apples are ordinarily propagated asexually by grafting. This is because seedling apples are

an example of "extreme heterozygotes", in that rather than inheriting DNA from their

parents to create a new apple with those characteristics, they are instead different from

their parents, sometimes radically.[28] Triploids have an additional reproductive barrier

in that the 3 sets of chromosomes cannot be divided evenly during meiosis, yielding unequal

segregation of the chromosomes (aneuploids). Even in the very unusual case when a triploid

plant can produce a seed (apples are an example), it happens infrequently, and seedlings

rarely survive.[29] Most new apple cultivars originate as seedlings, which either arise by

chance or are bred by deliberately crossing cultivars with promising characteristics.[30]

The words 'seedling', 'pippin', and 'kernel' in the name of an apple cultivar suggest that

it originated as a seedling. Apples can also form bud sports (mutations on a single

branch). Some bud sports turn out to be improved strains of the parent cultivar. Some

differ sufficiently from the parent tree to be considered new cultivars.[31]

Breeders can produce more rigid apples through crossing.[32] For example, the Excelsior

Experiment Station of the University of Minnesota has, since the 1930s, introduced a steady

progression of important hardy apples that are widely grown, both commercially and by

backyard orchardists, throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Its most important introductions

have included 'Haralson' (which is the most widely cultivated apple in Minnesota),

'Wealthy', 'Honeygold', and 'Honeycrisp'.

Apples have been acclimatized in Ecuador at very high altitudes, where they provide crops

twice per year because of constant temperate conditions in a whole year.[33]
Apple rootstocks
See also: Malling series

Rootstocks used to control tree size have been used in apple cultivation for over 2,000

years. Dwarfing rootstocks were probably discovered by chance in Asia. Alexander the Great

sent samples of dwarf apple trees back to his teacher, Aristotle, in Greece. They were

maintained at the Lyceum, a center of learning in Greece.

Most modern apple rootstocks were bred in the 20th century. Much research into the existing

rootstocks was begun at the East Malling Research Station in Kent, England. Following that

research, Malling worked with the John Innes Institute and Long Ashton to produce a series

of different rootstocks with disease resistance and a range of different sizes, which have

been used all over the world.
See also: Fruit tree pollination
Apple tree in flower
Orchard mason bee on apple bloom, British Columbia, Canada

Apples are self-incompatible; they must cross-pollinate to develop fruit. During the

flowering each season, apple growers usually provide pollinators to carry the pollen. Honey

bees are most commonly used. Orchard mason bees are also used as supplemental pollinators

in commercial orchards. Bumblebee queens are sometimes present in orchards, but not usually

in enough quantity to be significant pollinators.[31]

There are four to seven pollination groups in apples, depending on climate:

    * Group A – Early flowering, May 1 to 3 in England (Gravenstein, Red Astrachan)
    * Group B – May 4 to 7 (Idared, McIntosh)
    * Group C – Mid-season flowering, May 8 to 11 (Granny Smith, Cox's Orange Pippin)
    * Group D – Mid/late season flowering, May 12 to 15 (Golden Delicious, Calville blanc

    * Group E – Late flowering, May 16 to 18 (Braeburn, Reinette d'Orléans)
    * Group F – May 19 to 23 (Suntan)
    * Group H – May 24 to 28 (Court-Pendu Gris) (also called Court-Pendu plat)

One cultivar can be pollinated by a compatible cultivar from the same group or close (A

with A, or A with B, but not A with C or D).[34]

Varieties are sometimes classed as to the day of peak bloom in the average 30 day blossom

period, with pollinizers selected from varieties within a 6 day overlap period.
Maturation and harvest
See also: Fruit picking and Fruit tree pruning

Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the

same rootstock. Some cultivars, if left unpruned, will grow very large, which allows them

to bear much more fruit, but makes harvesting very difficult. Mature trees typically bear

40–200 kilograms (88–440 lb) of apples each year, though productivity can be close to zero

in poor years. Apples are harvested using three-point ladders that are designed to fit

amongst the branches. Dwarf trees will bear about 10–80 kilograms (22–180 lb) of fruit per


Commercially, apples can be stored for some months in controlled-atmosphere chambers to

delay ethylene-induced onset of ripening. The apples are commonly stored in chambers with

higher concentrations of carbon dioxide with high air filtration. This prevents ethylene

concentrations from rising to higher amounts and preventing ripening from moving too

quickly. Ripening continues when the fruit is removed.[35] For home storage, most varieties

of apple can be held for approximately two weeks when kept at the coolest part of the

refrigerator (i.e. below 5°C). Some types, including the Granny Smith and Fuji, have a

longer shelf life.[36]
Pests and diseases
Leaves with significant insect damage
Main article: List of apple diseases
See also: List of Lepidoptera that feed on apple trees

The trees are susceptible to a number of fungal and bacterial diseases and insect pests.

Many commercial orchards pursue an aggressive program of chemical sprays to maintain high

fruit quality, tree health, and high yields. A trend in orchard management is the use of

organic methods. These use a less aggressive and direct methods of conventional farming.

Instead of spraying potent chemicals, often shown to be potentially dangerous and

maleficent to the tree in the long run, organic methods include encouraging or discouraging

certain cycles and pests. To control a specific pest, organic growers might encourage the

prosperity of its natural predator instead of outright killing it, and with it the natural

biochemistry around the tree. Organic apples generally have the same or greater taste than

conventionally grown apples, with reduced cosmetic appearances.[37]

A wide range of pests and diseases can affect the plant; three of the more common

diseases/pests are mildew, aphids and apple scab.

    * Mildew: which is characterized by light grey powdery patches appearing on the leaves,

shoots and flowers, normally in spring. The flowers will turn a creamy yellow colour and

will not develop correctly. This can be treated in a manner not dissimilar from treating

Botrytis; eliminating the conditions which caused the disease in the first place and

burning the infected plants are among the recommended actions to take.[38][38]

Feeding aphids

    * Aphids: There are five species of aphids commonly found on apples: apple grain aphid,

rosy apple aphid, apple aphid, spirea aphid and the woolly apple aphid. The aphid species

can be identified by their colour, the time of year when they are present and by

differences in the cornicles, which are small paired projections from the rear of

aphids.[38] Aphids feed on foliage using needle-like mouth parts to suck out plant juices.

When present in high numbers, certain species reduce tree growth and vigor.[39]
    * Apple scab: Symptoms of scab are olive-green or brown blotches on the leaves.[40] The

blotches turn more brown as time progresses, then brown scabs form on the fruit.[38] The

diseased leaves will fall early and the fruit will become increasingly covered in scabs -

eventually the fruit skin will crack. Although there are chemicals to treat scab, their use

might not be encouraged as they are quite often systematic, which means they are absorbed

by the tree, and spread throughout the fruit.[40]

Among the most serious disease problems are fireblight, a bacterial disease; and

Gymnosporangium rust, and black spot, two fungal diseases.[39]

Young apple trees are also prone to mammal pests like mice and deer, which feed on the soft

bark of the trees, especially in winter.


American Hackberry

Celtis occidentalis, commonly known as the Common hackberry, is a medium-size deciduous

tree native to North America. It is also known as the nettletree, beaverwood, northern

hackberry, and American hackberry.[1] It is a moderately long-lived[1] hardwood[1] with a

light-colored wood, yellowish gray to light brown with yellow streaks.[2]

The Common Hackberry is easily distinguished from elms and some other hackberries by its

cork-like bark with wart-like protuberances. The leaves are distinctly asymmetrical and

coarse-textured. It produces small berries that turn orange-red to dark purple in the

Autumn, often staying on the trees for several months. The Common Hackberry is easily

confused with the sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) and is most easily distinguished by range

and habitat. The Common Hackberry also has wider leaves that are coarser above than the


    * 1 Description
    * 2 Distribution and habitat
    * 3 Ecology
    * 4 Cultivation and uses
    * 5 References
    * 6 External links

[edit] Description

Usually the Common Hackberry forms a medium sized tree, thirty to fifty feet in height,[1]

with a slender trunk; however, it can rise to the height of one hundred and thirty feet, in

the best conditions in the southern Mississippi valley area. In the middle states of its

range it seldom attains a height of more than sixty feet, and has a handsome round-topped

head and pendulous branches. It prefers rich moist soil, but will grow on gravelly or rocky

hillsides. The roots are fibrous and it grows rapidly.[3] In the western part of its range

with less rainfall and poorer soils it normally averages about thirty feet in height, but

at least one specimen was found at ninety five feet.[1] The maximum age attained by

hackberry is probably between 150 and 200 years in ideal conditions.[1]

The bark is light brown or silvery gray, broken on the surface into thick appressed scales

and sometimes roughened with excrescenses; pattern is very distinctive. The branchlets are

slender, light green at first, finally red brown, at length become dark brown tinged with

red. The winter buds are axillary, ovate, acute, somewhat flattened, one-fourth of an inch

long, light brown. Scales enlarge with the growing shoot, the innermost becoming stipules.

No terminal bud is formed. The leaves are alternately arranged on stems, ovate to

ovate-lanceolate, more or less falcate, two and a half to four inches (102 mm) long, one to

two inches wide, very oblique at the base, serrate, except at the base which is mostly

entire, acute. Three-nerved, midrib and primary veins prominent. They come out of the bud

conduplicate with slightly involute margins, pale yellow green, downy; when full grown are

thin, bright green, rough above, paler green beneath. In autumn they turn to a light

yellow. Petioles slender, slightly grooved, hairy. Stipules varying in form, caducous.

The flowers appear in May, soon after the leaves. Polygamo-monœ cious, greenish. Of three

kinds—staminate, pistillate, perfect; born on slender drooping pedicels. The calyx is light

yellow green, five-lobed, divided nearly to the base; lobes linear, acute, more or less cut

at the apex, often tipped with hairs, imbricate in bud.

    * Corolla: Wanting.

There are five stamens, which are hypogynous; the filaments are white, smooth, slightly

flattened and gradually narrowed from base to apex; in the bud incurved, bringing the

anthers face to face, as flower opens they abruptly straighten; anthers extrorse, oblong,

two-celled; cells opening longitudinally.

    * Pistil: ovary superior, one-celled; style two-lobed; ovules solitary.
    * Fruit: Fleshy drupe, oblong, one-half to three-fourths of an inch long, tipped with

remnants of style, dark purple. Borne on a slender stem; ripens in September and October.

Remains on branches during winter.[3]

[edit] Distribution and habitat

The Common Hackberry is native to North America from southern Ontario and Quebec, through

parts of New England, south to North Carolina-(Appalachia), west to northern Oklahoma, and

north to South Dakota. Hackberry's range overlaps with the sugarberry (Celtis laevigata),

making it difficult to establish the exact range of either species in the South. Although

there is little actual overlap, in the western part of its range the Common Hackberry is

sometimes confused with the smaller Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis reticulata), which has a

similar bark. Hackberry grows in many different habitats, although it prefers bottomlands

and soils high in limestone. Its shade tolerance is greatly dependent on conditions. In

favorable conditions its seedlings will persist under a closed canopy, but in less

favorable conditions it can be considered shade intolerant.
[edit] Ecology

Hackberry is highly susceptible to fire damage. The leaves are eaten by four gall-producing

insects of the Pachypsylla genus, which do not cause serious damage to the tree. A number

of insects and fungi cause rapid decay of dead branches or roots of the tree.

The small berries, hackberries, are eaten by a number of birds and mammals. Most seeds are

dispersed by animals, but some seeds are also dispersed by water.
[edit] Cultivation and uses

The wood is light yellow; heavy, soft, coarse-grained, not strong. Used for fencing and

cheap furniture. Sp. gr., 0.7287; weight of cu. ft., 45.41 lb (20.60 kg).

Hackberry's wood is soft and rots easily, making the wood undesirable commercially,

although it is occasionally used for furniture or other uses. The berries, although edible,

are small and out of reach, and are seldom eaten by humans. Hackberry is only occasionally

used as a street or landscape tree, although its tolerance for urban conditions make it

well suited to this role. Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is known for the extensive

use of Hackberry as a street tree.


Black Walnut

The Eastern Black walnut (Juglans nigra) is a species of flowering tree in the hickory

family, Juglandaceae, that is native to eastern North America. It grows mostly in riparian

zones, from southern Ontario, west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern

Florida and southwest to central Texas. Isolated wild trees in the Upper Ottawa Valley may

be an isolated native population or may have derived from planted trees.

The black walnut is a large deciduous tree attaining heights of 30–40 metres (98–130 ft).

Under forest competition it develops a tall, clear bole; the open-grown form has a short

bole and broad crown. The bark is grey-black and deeply furrowed. The pith of the twigs

contains air spaces. The leaves are alternate, 30–60 cm long, odd-pinnate with 15–23

leaflets, the largest leaflets located in the center, 7–10 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. The

male flowers are in drooping catkins 8–10 cm long, the female flowers terminal, in clusters

of two to five, ripening during the autumn into a fruit (nut) with a brownish-green,

semi-fleshy husk and a brown corrugated nut. The whole fruit, including the husk, falls in

October; the seed is relatively small and very hard. The tree tends to crop more heavily in

alternate years.

While its primary native region is the midwest and east central United States, the black

walnut was introduced into Europe in 1629. It is cultivated there and in North America as a

forest tree for its high quality wood. Nuts are produced more by open-grown trees. Black

walnut is more resistant to frost than the Persian walnut (also known as the English

walnut), but thrives best in the warmer regions of fertile, lowland soils with a high water

table. It is a light-demanding species. The wood is used to make furniture, flooring, and

rifle stocks, and oil is pressed from the seeds. Nuts are harvested by hand from wild

trees. About 65% of the annual wild harvest comes from the U.S. state of Missouri and the

largest processing plant is in Stockton, Missouri.[citation needed] The black walnut

nutmeats are used as an ingredient in food while the hard black walnut shell is used

commercially in abrasive cleaning, cosmetics, and oil well drilling and water filtration.

Where the range of J. nigra overlaps that of the Texas black walnut J. microcarpa, the two

species sometimes interbreed, producing populations with characteristics intermediate

between the two species.[1]

    * 1 Uses
          o 1.1 Food
                + 1.1.1 Nut processing by hand
          o 1.2 Dye
          o 1.3 Wood
    * 2 Pests
    * 3 Toxicity
    * 4 Big tree
    * 5 Gallery
    * 6 Notes
    * 7 References
    * 8 External links

[edit] Uses
Walnut, Black (J. nigra)
Black Walnut Juglans nigra Nut 2400px.jpg
Black walnut
Nutritional value per serving
Serving size     100 grams
Energy     618 kJ (148 kcal)
Carbohydrates     9.91 g
Starch     0.24 g
Sugars     1.10 g
Lactose     0 g
Dietary fiber     6.8 g
Fat     59.00 g
saturated     3.368 g
monounsaturated     15.004 g
polyunsaturated     35.077 g
omega-3 fat     2.006 g
omega-6 fat     33.072 g
Protein     24.06 g
Water     4.56 g
Alcohol     0 g
Caffeine     0 g
Vitamin A equiv.     2 μg (0%)
Vitamin A     40 IU
Thiamine (Vit. B1)     0.057 mg (4%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)     0.130 mg (9%)
Niacin (Vit. B3)     0.470 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)     1.660 mg (33%)
Vitamin B6     0.583 mg (45%)
Folate (Vit. B9)     31 μg (8%)
Vitamin B12     0 μg (0%)
Vitamin C     1.7 mg (3%)
Vitamin D     0 μg (0%)
Vitamin D     0 IU (0%)
Vitamin E     1.80 mg (12%)
Vitamin K     2.7 μg (3%)
Calcium     61 mg (6%)
Iron     3.12 mg (25%)
Magnesium     201 mg (54%)
Manganese     3.896 mg (195%)
Phosphorus     513 mg (73%)
Potassium     523 mg (11%)
Sodium     2 mg (0%)
Zinc     3.37 mg (34%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.

In addition to its use as a shade tree, J. nigra can be used for the fruits it produces,

and for lumber.
[edit] Food

Black walnut nuts are shelled commercially in the United States. The nutmeats provide a

robust, distinctive, natural flavor and crunch as a food ingredient. Popular uses include

ice cream, bakery goods and confections. Consumers include black walnuts in traditional

treats, such as cakes, cookies, fudge, and pies during the fall holiday season. The nut’s

strong nutritional profile leads to uses in other foods such as salads, fish, pork,

chicken, vegetables and pasta dishes.

Nutritionally similar to the milder-tasting English walnut, the black walnut kernel is high

in unsaturated fat and protein. An analysis of nut oil from five named J. nigra cultivars

(Ogden, Sparrow, Baugh, Carter and Thomas) showed that the most prevalent fatty acid in J.

nigra oil is linoleic acid (27.80–33.34 g/100g dry kernel), followed (in the same units) by

oleic acid (14.52–24.40), linolenic acid (1.61–3.23), palmitic acid (1.61–2.15), and

stearic acid (1.07–1.69).[2] The oil from the cultivar Carter had the highest mol percent

of linoleate (61.6), linolenate (5.97%), and palmitate (3.98%); the oil from the cultivar

Baugh had the highest mol percent of oleate (42.7%); the oil from the cultivar Ogden has

the highest mol percent of stearate (2.98%).

Tapped in spring, the tree yields a sweet sap that can be drunk or concentrated into syrup

or sugar.[1]
[edit] Nut processing by hand
A woman's hands after removing the husks from 500 black walnuts

The extraction of the kernel from the fruit of the black walnut is difficult. The thick

hard shell is tightly bound by tall ridges to a thick husk. The husk is best removed when

green as the nuts taste better if it is removed then.[citation needed] Rolling the nut

underfoot on a hard surface such as a driveway is a common method; commercial huskers use a

car tire rotating against a metal mesh. Some take a thick plywood board and drill a nut

sized hole in it (from one to two inches in diameter) and smash the nut through using a

hammer. The nut goes through and the husk remains behind.

While the flavor of the Juglans nigra kernel is prized, the difficulty in preparing it may

account for the wider popularity and availability of the Persian walnut.
[edit] Dye

Black walnut drupes contain juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone), plumbagin (yellow

quinone pigments), and tannin.[3] The brownish-black dye was used by early settlers to dye

hair.[4] Extracts of the outer soft part of the drupe are still used as a natural dye for

handicrafts.[5] The tannins present in walnuts act as a mordant aiding in the dyeing

process;[6][7] usable as a dark ink or wood stain.[8]
[edit] Wood

Black walnut is highly prized for its dark-colored true heartwood. It is heavy and strong,

yet easily split and worked. Walnut wood has historically been used for gunstocks,

furniture, flooring, paddles, coffins, and a variety of other woodworking products. Due to

its value, forestry officials often are called on to track down walnut poachers; in 2004,

DNA testing was used to solve one such poaching case, involving a 55 foot (16m) tree worth

US $2500. Black walnut has a density per cubic meter of 660kg (41.2 lb/cubic foot),[9]

which makes it lighter than oak.
[edit] Pests

Maggots (larvae of Rhagoletis completa and Rhagoletis suavis) in the husk are common,

though more a nuisance than a serious problem for amateurs, who may simply remove the

affected husk as soon as infestation is noticed. The maggots develop entirely within the

husk and thus the quality of the nutmeat is not affected.[10] However, infestations of

Persian walnuts are undesirable because they make the husk difficult to remove and are

unsightly. Maggots can be serious for commercial walnut growers, who tend to use chemical

treatments to prevent damage to the crop.[11] Some organic controls also exist, such as

removing and disposing of infested nuts.[12]

The walnut curculio (Conotrachelus retentus) grows to 5 mm long as an adult. The adult

sucks plant juices through a snout. The eggs are laid in fruits in the spring and summer.

Many nuts are lost due to damage from the larvae, which burrow through the nut shell.[13]

The codling moth (Cydia pomonella) larva eats walnut kernels, as well as apple and pear


A disease complex known as Thousand cankers disease has been threatening black walnut in

several western states.[15] This disease has recently been discovered in Tennessee and

could potentially have devastating effects on the species in the eastern United States.[16]
[edit] Toxicity

The roots, nut husks, and leaves secrete a substance into the soil called juglone that is a

respiratory inhibitor to some plants. A number of other plants (most notably white birch)

are also poisoned by juglone, and should not be planted in close proximity to a black

walnut. Horses are susceptible to laminitis from exposure to black walnut wood in bedding.[



(Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, is an annual herb originating in

Syria,[1] but naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor,

Europe, North Africa, and South America. It grows to a height of 60–100 cm (2.0–3.3 ft),

and is bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves; the leaves are alternate, simple,

and 5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow,

triangular-pointed petals. Flowers are most often blue in color, although pink flowers are

sometimes observed. White flowered types are also cultivated. The flowers arise along

scorpiod cymes to form large floral displays with multiple flowers blooming simultaneously,

suggesting that borage has a high degree of geitonogamy. It has an indeterminate growth

habit which may lead to prolific spreading. In milder climates, borage will bloom

continuously for most of the year.

    * 1 Characteristics and uses
    * 2 Companion plant
    * 3 See also
    * 4 References

[edit] Characteristics and uses
A white flower cultivar

Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today

commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. The seed oil is desired as source of

gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3, cis 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid), for which borage is the

highest known plant-based source (17-28%).[2] The seed oil content is between 26-38% and in

addition to GLA contains the fatty acids palmitic acid (10-11%), stearic acid (3.5-4.5%),

oleic acid (16-20%), linoleic acid (35-38%), eicosenoic acid (3.5-5.5%), erucic acid

(1.5-3.5%), and nervonic acid (1.5%). The oil is often marketed as "starflower oil" or

"borage oil" for uses as a GLA supplement, although healthy adults will typically produce

ample GLA through dietary linoleic acid.

Borage production does include use as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh

vegetable, borage, with a cucumber like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish.[3]

The flower, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid thesinine,[citation needed]

has a sweet honey-like taste and as one of the few truly blue-colored edible

things,[citation needed] is often used to decorate dessert.[3] It is notable that the

leaves have been found to contain small amounts (10 ppm of dried herb) of the liver-toxic

pyrrolizidine alkaloids: intermedine, lycopsamine, amabiline and supinine.[citation needed]

Vegetable use of borage is common in Germany, in the Spanish regions of Aragón and Navarra,

in the Greek island of Crete and in the Italian northern region Liguria. Although often

used in soups, one of the better known German borage recipes is the Green Sauce (Grüne

Soße) made in Frankfurt. In Italian Liguria, borage is commonly used as filling of the

traditional pasta ravioli and pansoti. The leaves and flowers were originally used in Pimms

before it was replaced by mint. It is used to flavour pickled gherkins in Poland.[citation


Naturopathic practitioners use borage for regulation of metabolism and the hormonal system,

and consider it to be a good remedy for PMS and menopause symptoms, such as the hot

flash.[citation needed] Borage is sometimes indicated to alleviate and heal colds,

bronchitis, and respiratory infections, and in general for its anti-inflammatory and

balsamic properties.[citation needed] The flowers can be prepared in infusion to take

advantage of its medicinal properties. The oleic and palmitic acid of borage may also

confer a hypocholesterolemic effect.[citation needed]

Borage is also traditionally used as a garnish in the Pimms Cup cocktail,[3] but is often

replaced by cucumber if not available.[citation needed]
[edit] Companion plant

Borage is used in companion planting.[4] It is said to protect or nurse legumes, spinach,

brassicas, and even strawberries.[5] It is also said to be a good companion plant to

tomatoes because it confuses the search image of the mother moths of tomato hornworms or

manduca looking for a place to lay their eggs.[6] Claims that it improves tomato growth [7]

and makes them taste better [8] remain unsubstantiated.



Honeysuckles (Lonicera, pronounced /lɒˈnɪsərə/;[1] syn. Caprifolium Mill.) are arching

shrubs or twining vines in the family Caprifoliaceae, native to the Northern Hemisphere.

There are about 180 species of honeysuckle, 100 of which occur in China; Europe and North

America have only about 20 native species each. Widely known species include Lonicera

periclymenum (European Honeysuckle or Woodbine), Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle,

White Honeysuckle, or Chinese Honeysuckle) and Lonicera sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle,

Trumpet Honeysuckle, or Woodbine Honeysuckle). Hummingbirds are attracted to these plants.

The leaves are opposite, simple oval, 1–10 cm long; most are deciduous but some are

evergreen. Many of the species have sweetly-scented, bell-shaped flowers that produce a

sweet, edible nectar. Breaking of the Honeysuckle's stem will release this powerful sweet

odor. The fruit is a red, blue or black berry containing several seeds; in most species the

berries are mildly poisonous, but a few (notably Lonicera caerulea) have edible berries.

The plant is eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species - see list of Lepidoptera that

feed on honeysuckles.

The name Lonicera stems from Adam Lonicer, a Renaissance botanist.


Nasturtium (pronounced /næˈstɜrʃⁱəm/)[1] literally "nose-twister" or "nose-tweaker"), as a

common name, refers to a genus of roughly 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous

flowering plants in the genus Tropaeolum (pronounced /trɵˈpiː.ələm/,[2] "trophy"), one of

three genera in the family Tropaeolaceae. It should not be confused with the Watercresses

of the genus Nasturtium, of the Mustard family. The genus Tropaeolum, native to South and

Central America, includes several very popular garden plants, the most commonly grown being

T. majus, T. peregrinum and T. speciosum. The hardiest species is T. polyphyllum from

Chile, the perennial roots of which can survive underground when air temperatures drop as

low as -15°C (5°F).

They have showy, often intensely bright flowers (the intense color may pose problems in

macrophotography)[citation needed], and rounded, peltate (shield-shaped) leaves with the

petiole in the center. The flowers have five petals (sometimes more), a three-carpelled

ovary, and a funnel-shaped nectar tube in the back.

Tropaeolum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species

including Dot Moth and Garden Carpet. A very common "pest" found on Nasturtium in

particular is the caterpillar of the Large White (Cabbage White) Butterfly.

The Nasturtiums receive their name from the fact that they produce an oil that is similar

to that produced by Watercress (Nasturtium officinale), from the family Brassicaceae.

    * 1 Cultivation and uses
    * 2 Taxonomy
    * 3 Species
    * 4 References
    * 5 External links

[edit] Cultivation and uses

In cultivation, most varieties of nasturtiums prefer to be grown in direct or indirect

sunlight, with a few preferring partial shade.

The most common use of the nasturtium plant in cultivation is as an ornamental flower. It

grows easily and prolifically, and is a self-seeding annual.
The flowers and leaves of the nasturtium plant.

All parts of the plant are edible. The flower has most often been consumed, making for an

especially ornamental salad ingredient; it has a slightly peppery taste reminiscent of

watercress, and is also used in stir fry. The unripe seed pods can be harvested and pickled

with hot vinegar, to produce a condiment and garnish, sometimes used in place of capers,

although the taste is strongly peppery. The mashua (T. tuberosum) produces an edible

underground tuber that is a major food source in parts of the Andes.

Nasturtiums are also considered widely useful companion plants. They repel a great many

cucurbit pests, like squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and several caterpillars. They have a

similar range of benefits for brassica plants, especially broccoli and cauliflower. They

also attract black fly aphids, and are sometimes planted in the hope of saving crops

susceptible to them (as a trap crop). They may also attract beneficial predatory insects.
[edit] Taxonomy

Tropaeolum was previously placed in the family Tropaeolaceae along with two other genera,

Magallan and Tropaeastrum. In 2000, a molecular study found Tropaeolum to be paraphyletic

with respect to the other two genera, so they were transferred into Tropaeolum.

Tropaeolaceae was thus rendered monogeneric.[


Pineapple Guave

Acca sellowiana is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, that is

native to the highlands of southern Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.[1]

Common names include Feijoa (pronounced /feɪˈʒoʊ.ə/, /feɪˈdʒoʊ.ə/,[2] or /feɪˈhoʊ.ə/[3])

Pineapple Guava and Guavasteen. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree, 1–7 metres (3.3–23

ft) in height. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant and fruiting tree and is a

perennial. The German botanist Otto Karl Berg named Feijoa after João da Silva Feijó, a

Portuguese botanist born in the colony of Brazil.[citation needed]

    * 1 Fruit
    * 2 Growing conditions
    * 3 Seasonality
    * 4 Consumption and uses
    * 5 Sale and shipping
    * 6 Cultivation
    * 7 References
    * 8 External links

[edit] Fruit

The fruit, maturing in autumn, is green, ellipsoid, and about the size of a chicken egg. It

has a sweet, aromatic flavor. The flesh is juicy and is divided into a clear gelatinous

seed pulp and a firmer, slightly gritty, opaque flesh nearer the skin. The fruit drops when

ripe and at its fullest flavor, but may be picked from the tree prior to the drop to

prevent bruising.

The fruit pulp resembles the closely related guava, having a gritty texture. The Feijoa

pulp is used in some natural cosmetic products as an exfoliant. Feijoa fruit has a

distinctive smell. The aroma is due to the ester methyl benzoate and related compounds that

exist in the fruit.
[edit] Growing conditions
Whole and cut ripe Feijoas

It is a warm-temperate to subtropical plant that also will grow in the tropics, but

requires some winter chilling to fruit and the plant is frost-tolerant.

In the northern hemisphere this species has been cultivated as far north as western

Scotland, but under such conditions it does not fruit every year, as winter temperatures

below approximately −9 °C (16 °F) kill the flower buds.
[edit] Seasonality

Large quantities of the fruit are grown in New Zealand, where it is a popular garden tree

and the fruit commonly is available in season. The New Zealand season runs from March to


Harder varieties are grown for years in Russian region of Buriatia (city Ulan-Ude), with

winters up to -40 C.
[edit] Consumption and uses

The fruit usually is eaten by cutting it in half, then scooping out the pulp with a

spoon.[4] The fruit has a juicy sweet seed pulp and slightly gritty flesh nearer the skin.

The flavour is aromatic and sweet. If the utensils needed to eat it this way are not

available, the Feijoa may be torn or bitten in half, and the contents squeezed out and

consumed. An alternative method is to bite the end off and then tear the fruit in half

length ways, exposing a larger surface with less curvature and using one's teeth to scrape

the pulp out closer to the skin. This method results in less waste of the fruit.

A Feijoa may be used as an interesting addition to a fruit smoothie, and may be used to

make Feijoa wine or cider and feijoa infused vodka. It also is possible to buy Feijoa

yogurt, fruit drinks, jam, ice-cream, and such in New Zealand. The Feijoa also may be

cooked and used in dishes where one would use stewed fruit. It is a popular ingredient in

Cut over-mature fruit showing browning

Fruit maturity is not always apparent visually as the fruits remain the same shade of green

until they are over-mature or rotting. One usually may sense ripeness, however, by giving

the fruit a soft squeeze; a ripe Feijoa will give somewhat like a just-ripe banana.

Generally, the fruit is at its optimum ripeness the day it drops from the tree. While still

hanging it may well prove bitter, however, once fallen, fruit very quickly becomes

over-ripe, so a daily collection of fallen fruit is advisable during the season.

When the fruits are immature the seed pulp is white and opaque. It becomes clear and

gelatinous when ripe. Fruits are at their optimum maturity when the seed pulp has turned

into a clear jelly with no hint of browning. Once the seed pulp and surrounding flesh start

to brown, the fruit is over-mature, but still may be eaten. Over-mature but not rotten

fruits may be used to make a delicious juice very popular in places such as the Colombian

Highlands.[citation needed]

The pink to white flower petals have a delightful flavor, being crisp, moist, and fleshy.

They regularly are consumed by birds.
[edit] Sale and shipping

Ripe fruit is very prone to bruising; maintaining the fruit in good condition for any

length of time is not easy. This, along with the short period of optimum ripeness and full

favor, probably explains why Feijoas, although delicious, frequently are not exported, and

where grown commercially, often only are sold close to the source of the crop.

Because of the relatively short shelf-life, store keepers need to be careful to replace

older Feijoas regularly to ensure high quality. In some countries, Feijoas also may be

purchased at roadside stalls, often at a lower price.

Feijoas may be cool-stored for approximately a month and still have a few days of shelf

life at optimum eating maturity. They also may be frozen for up to one year without a loss

in quality.
[edit] Cultivation
Feijoa flower

Some grafted cultivars of Feijoa are self-fertile. Most are not, and require a pollinator.

Seedlings may or may not be of usable quality, and may or may not be self fertile.

In New Zealand, the pollinators of this plant are bees, bumblebees, or medium-sized birds.

The latter include such as the Silvereye in the cooler parts of the South Island, the

blackbird, or the Indian myna farther north, which feed on the sweet, fleshy petals of the

Feijoa flower.

In California, robins, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, starlings, scrub jays, towhees, and grey

squirrels feast on the petals and are presumed to be assisting with pollination.[citation

needed] Honeybees also visit the flowers.

In some areas where the species has been introduced, however, the trees have been

unproductive due to lack of pollinators. The shrub has very few insect pests.



Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the agave family, Agavaceae. Its 40-50

species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large

terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. They are native to the hot and dry (arid)

parts of North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Early reports of

the species were confused with the cassava (Manihot esculenta).[2] Consequently, Linnaeus

mistakenly derived the generic name from the Carib word for the latter, yuca.[3]

    * 1 Distribution
    * 2 Ecology
    * 3 Uses
    * 4 Cultivation
    * 5 Symbolism
    * 6 Species
    * 7 Taxonomic arrangement
    * 8 Cultivars
    * 9 Gallery
    * 10 References
    * 11 External links

[edit] Distribution
Distribution of the capsular fruited species in southwest, midwest USA, Mexico's Baja

California and Canada. Overview

The natural distribution range of the genus Yucca (49 species and 24 subspecies) covers a

vast area of North and Central America. From Baja California in the west, northwards into

the southwestern United States, through the drier central states as far north as Alberta in

Canada (Yucca glauca ssp. albertana), and moving east along the Gulf of Mexico, and then

north again, through the Atlantic coastal and inland neighbouring states. To the south, the

genus is represented throughout Mexico and extends into Guatemala (Yucca guatemalensis).

Yuccas have adapted to an equally vast range of climatic and ecological conditions. They

are to be found in rocky deserts and badlands, in prairies and grassland, in mountainous

regions, in light woodland, in coastal sands (Yucca filamentosa), and even in subtropical

and semi-temperate zones, although these are nearly always arid to semi-arid.
[edit] Ecology

Yuccas have a very specialized, mutualistic pollination system, being pollinated by yucca

moths (family Prodoxidae); the insect purposefully transfers the pollen from the stamens of

one plant to the stigma of another, and at the same time lays an egg in the flower; the

moth larva then feeds on some of the developing seeds, always leaving enough seed to

perpetuate the species. Yucca species are the host plants for the caterpillars of the Yucca

Giant-Skipper (Megathymus yuccae),[4] Ursine Giant-Skipper (Megathymus ursus),[5] and

Strecker's Giant-Skipper (Megathymus streckeri).[6]
[edit] Uses

Yuccas are widely grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Many species of yucca also bear

edible parts, including fruits, seeds, flowers, flowering stems,[7] and more rarely roots.

References to yucca root as food often stem from confusion with the similarly spelled but

botanically unrelated yuca, also called cassava (Manihot esculenta). Roots of soaptree

yucca (Yucca elata) are high in saponins and are used as a shampoo in Native American

rituals. Dried yucca leaves and trunk fibers have a low ignition temperature, making the

plant desirable for use in starting fires via friction.[8]
[edit] Cultivation

Yucca are widely planted in the western US as a landscape plant. Most species are generally

heat and cold tolerant, requiring little care and low water. They offer a dramatic accent

to a landscape design.

Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) are protected by law in some states and should not be wild

collected without permit. As a landscape plant, they can be killed by excessive water

during their summer dormant phase. For these two reasons they are avoided by landscape



The gooseberry (pronounced /ˈɡʊzbəri/;[1] Ribes uva-crispa, syn. R. grossularia) is a

species of Ribes, native to Europe, northwestern Africa and southwestern Asia. It is one of

several similar species in the subgenus Grossularia; for the other related species (e.g.,

North American Gooseberry Ribes hirtellum), see the genus page Ribes.

Although usually placed as a subgenus within Ribes, a few taxonomists treat Grossularia as

a separate genus, although hybrids between gooseberry and blackcurrant (e.g., the

Jostaberry) are possible. The subgenus Grossularia differs somewhat from currants, chiefly

in their spiny stems, and in that their flowers grow one to three together on short stems,

not in racemes.

Gooseberry bushes produce an edible fruit and are grown on both a commercial and domestic

Growth habit and physical characteristics

The gooseberry is a straggling bush growing to 1–3 metres (3–10 feet) tall, the branches

being thickly set with sharp spines, standing out singly or in diverging tufts of two or

three from the bases of the short spurs or lateral leaf shoots. The bell-shaped flowers are

produced, singly or in pairs, from the groups of rounded, deeply-crenated 3 or 5 lobed

leaves. The fruit of wild gooseberries is smaller than in the cultivated varieties, but is

often of good flavour; it is generally hairy, but in one variety smooth, constituting the

R. uva-crispa of writers; berries' colour is usually green, but there are red variants and

occasionally deep purple berries occur.
[edit] Range

The gooseberry is indigenous in Europe and western Asia, growing naturally in alpine

thickets and rocky woods in the lower country, from France eastward, well into the

Himalayas and peninsular India.
Currant and gooseberry output in 2005

In Britain, gooseberry bushes are often found in copses and hedgerows and about old ruins,

but the gooseberry has been cultivated for so long that it is difficult to distinguish wild

bushes from feral ones, or where the gooseberry fits into the native flora of the island.

Common as it is now on some of the lower slopes of the Alps of Piedmont and Savoy, it is

uncertain whether the Romans were acquainted with the gooseberry, though it may possibly be

alluded to in a vague passage of Pliny the Elder's Natural History; the hot summers of

Italy, in ancient times as at present, would be unfavourable to its cultivation. Although

gooseberries are now abundant in Germany and France, it does not appear to have been much

grown there in the Middle Ages, though the wild fruit was held in some esteem medicinally

for the cooling properties of its acid juice in fevers; while the old English name,

Fea-berry, still surviving in some provincial dialects, indicates that it was similarly

valued in Britain, where it was planted in gardens at a comparatively early period.

William Turner describes the gooseberry in his Herball, written about the middle of the

16th century, and a few years later it is mentioned in one of Thomas Tusser's quaint rhymes

as an ordinary object of garden culture. Improved varieties were probably first raised by

the skilful gardeners of Holland, whose name for the fruit, Kruisbezie, may have been

easily corrupted into the present English vernacular word. Towards the end of the 18th

century the gooseberry became a favourite object of cottage-horticulture, especially in

Lancashire, where the working cotton-spinners have raised numerous varieties from seed,

their efforts having been chiefly directed to increasing the size of the fruit.
Red gooseberries
[edit] Climate

Of the many hundred varieties enumerated in recent horticultural works, few perhaps equal

in flavour some of the older denizens of the fruit-garden, such as the old rough red and

hairy amber. The climate of the British Isles seems peculiarly adapted to bring the

gooseberry to perfection,[citation needed] and it may be grown successfully even in the

most northern parts of Scotland where it is commonly known as a "grozet"; indeed, the

flavour of the fruit is said to improve with increasing latitude. In Norway (where it's

named "stikkelsbær" — or "prickly berry"), the bush flourishes in gardens on the west coast

nearly up to the Arctic circle, and it is found wild as far north as 63°. The dry summers

of the French and German plains are less suited to it, though it is grown in some hilly

districts with tolerable success. The gooseberry in the south of England will grow well in

cool situations, and may be sometimes seen in gardens near London flourishing under the

partial shade of apple trees; but in the north it needs full exposure to the sun to bring

the fruit to perfection. It will succeed in almost any soil, but prefers a rich loam or

black alluvium, and, though naturally a plant of rather dry places, will do well in moist

land, if drained.

It is also widely found in villages throughout the former Czechoslovakia.
Sectioned gooseberries showing seeds
A blossom of gooseberry
[edit] Cultivation

The easiest method of propagating gooseberries is by cuttings rather than raising from

seed;cuttings planted in the autumn will take root quickly and can begin to bear fruit

within a few years.

Vigorous pruning may be necessary; fruit is produced on lateral spurs and the previous

year's shoots, so the 19th-century custom was to trim side branches in the winter, and

perhaps trim leading shoots at that time or remove their tips in the summer.

Large berries can be produced by heavy composting, especially if the majority of the fruit

is picked off while small to allow room for a few berries to continue to grow. Grafting of

gooseberry vines onto ornamental golden currants (Ribes aurum) or other Ribes species can

be helpful for this purpose. Some 19th- and early 20th-century cultivators produced single

gooseberries near to two ounces in weight, but, as with many varieties of fruit, larger

sizes of gooseberry proved to have weaker flavor.
Ribes uva-crispa[2]
[edit] Pests

Gooseberry bushes are vulnerable to magpie moth (Abraxas grossulariata) caterpillars. In

cultivation, the best method for removing them is to remove the larvae by hand soon after

they hatch; its eggs are laid on fallen gooseberry leaves.

Other potential threats are V-moth (Macaria wauaria) and Gooseberry sawfly (Nematus

ribesii). Nematus reibesii grubs will bury themselves in the ground to pupate; on hatching

into adult form, they lay their eggs, which soon hatch into larvae, on the underside of

gooseberry leaves. 19th-century insecticides against these included tar water, weak

solutions of carbolic acid, and powdered hellebore, which worked against magpie moths and

V-moths as well as gooseberry sawflies. (Foxglove and tobacco infusions were also sometimes

used.) Careful removal of fallen leaves and tilling of the ground around the plant will

also destroy most eggs and chrysalises of these insects.

Potassium sulfide was known to be an effective treatment for blights and other parasitic

growths, such as American gooseberry mildew.

Note that like most Ribes, the gooseberry is a potential host for white pine blister rust,

which can cause serious damage to white pines; thus, gooseberry cultivation is illegal in

some areas of the U.S.
[edit] Culinary uses
Gooseberries for sale in Hainan, China

Gooseberries are best known for their use in desserts such as pies, fools and crumbles.

Gooseberries are commonly preserved by drying, storing in sugar syrup, or as jam or pickle.

Gooseberries are used to flavoured drinks such as soda, water or even milk, and are used to

make Fruit wine. In India some use gooseberry for acidity problem and stomach ache.
[edit] Etymology

The "goose" in "gooseberry" has usually been seen as a corruption of either the Dutch word

Kruisbezie or the allied German Krausbeere, or of the earlier forms of the French

groseille. Alternatively the word has been connected to the Middle High German krus (curl,

crisped), in Latin as grossularia. However, the Oxford English Dictionary takes the obvious

derivation from goose and berry as probable because "the grounds on which plants and fruits

have received names associating them with animals are so often inexplicable that the

inappropriateness in the meaning does not necessarily give good grounds for believing that

the word is an etymological corruption.



Ziziphus zizyphus (from Greek ζίζυφον, zizyfon[1]), commonly called jujube, red date, or

Chinese date, is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae, used primarily

for its fruits. Common names in Arabic are nabq, dum, tsal, sadr, zufzuuf (in Morocco) and

sidr, the last of which also means Ziziphus lotus.[2] In Persian it is called anab or annab

, a name also used in Lebanon.

    * 1 Distribution
    * 2 Growth
    * 3 Nomenclature
    * 4 Cultivation and uses
          o 4.1 Medicinal use
          o 4.2 Culinary use
          o 4.3 Other uses
          o 4.4 Pests and diseases
    * 5 References
    * 6 Further reading
    * 7 External links

[edit] Distribution

Its precise natural distribution is uncertain due to extensive cultivation, but is thought

to be in southern Asia, between Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, northern India, Bangladesh, the

Korean peninsula, and southern and central China, and also southeastern Europe though more

likely introduced there.[3]
[edit] Growth

It is a small deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 5–10 m, usually with thorny

branches. The leaves are shiny-green, ovate-acute, 2–7-cm wide and 1–3-cm broad, with three

conspicuous veins at the base, and a finely toothed margin. The flowers are small, 5-mm

wide, with five inconspicuous yellowish-green petals. The fruit is an edible oval drupe

1.5–3-cm deep; when immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an

apple, maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date.

There is a single hard stone similar to an olive stone.[3]
[edit] Nomenclature

The species has a curious nomenclatural history, due to a combination of botanical naming

regulations, and variations in spelling. It was first described scientifically by Carolus

Linnaeus as Rhamnus zizyphus, in Species Plantarum in 1753. Later, in 1768, Philip Miller

concluded it was sufficiently distinct from Rhamnus to merit separation into a new genus,

in which he named it Ziziphus jujube, using Linnaeus' species name for the genus but with a

probably accidental single letter spelling difference, 'i' for 'y'; for the species name he

used a different name, as tautonyms (repetition of exactly the same name in the genus and

species) are not permitted in botanical naming. However, because of Miller's slightly

different spelling, the combination correctly using the earliest species name (from

Linnaeus) with the new genus, Ziziphus zizyphus, is not a tautonym, and therefore permitted

as a botanical name; this combination was made by Hermann Karsten in 1882.[3][4]
[edit] Cultivation and uses

Jujube was domesticated in the Indian subcontinent by 9000 BCE.[5] Over 400 cultivars have

been selected.

The tree tolerates a wide range of temperatures and rainfall, though it requires hot

summers and sufficient water for acceptable fruiting. Unlike most of the other species in

the genus, it tolerates fairly cold winters, surviving temperatures down to about −15°C.

This enables the jujube to grow in desert habitats, provided there is access to underground

water through the summer. Virtually no temperature seems to be too high in summertime.
[edit] Medicinal use

The fruits are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to

alleviate stress.[citation needed] The jujube-based Australian drink 1-bil avoids making

specific stress-related claims, but does suggest drinking 1-bil "when you feel yourself

becoming distressed".[6]

Ziziphin, a compound in the leaves of the jujube, suppresses the ability to perceive sweet

taste in humans.[7] The fruit, being mucilaginous, is very soothing to the throat and

decoctions of jujube have often been used in pharmacy to treat sore throats.
Fresh jujube fruits.
[edit] Culinary use
Dried jujube fruits, which naturally turn red upon drying.

The freshly harvested as well as the candied dried fruits are often eaten as a snack, or

with tea. They are available in either red or black (called hóng zǎo or hēi zǎo,

respectively, in Chinese), the latter being smoked to enhance their flavor.[8] In China and

Korea, a sweetened tea syrup containing jujube fruits is available in glass jars,[9] and

canned jujube tea or jujube tea in the form of teabags is also available. Although not

widely available, jujube juice[10] and jujube vinegar[11] (called 枣醋 or 红枣醋 in Chinese) are

also produced; they are used for making pickles (কুলের আচার) in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

In China, a wine made from jujubes, called hong zao jiu (红枣酒) is also produced.[12] Jujubes

are sometimes preserved by storing in a jar filled with baijiu (Chinese liquor), which

allows them to be kept fresh for a long time, especially through the winter. Such jujubes

are called jiu zao (酒枣; literally "spirited jujube"). These fruits, often stoned, are also

a significant ingredient in a wide variety of Chinese delicacies. In Korea, jujubes are

called daechu (대추) and are used in teas and samgyetang. It is said to be helpful in aiding

the common cold.

In Lebanon, the fruit is eaten as snacks or alongside a dessert after a meal.

In Persian cuisine, the dried drupes are known as annab, while in neighboring Azerbaijan it

is commonly eaten as a snack, and are known as innab. In Pakistan, the fruit is eaten both

fresh and dried, and is known as ber (a generic term for berry).

In Tamil-speaking regions, the fruit is called ilanthai pazham (இலந்தை பழம்). In Kannada

this fruit is called "Yelchi Hannu" and in Telugu it is called "Regi pandu". Traditionally,

the fruits are dried in the sun and the hard nuts are removed. Then, it is pounded with

tamarind, red chillies, salt, and jaggery. Small dishes are made from this dough and again

dried in the sun, and are referred to as ilanthai vadai. In some parts of the Indian state

of Tamil Nadu, fresh whole ripe fruit is crushed with the above ingredients and dried under

the sun to make delicious cakes called ilanthai vadai.[13]
[edit] Other uses

The jujube's sweet smell is said to make teenagers fall in love, and as a result, in the

Himalaya and Karakoram regions, men take a stem of sweet-smelling jujube flowers with them

or put it on their hats to attract women.[citation needed]

In the traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, the jujube was often placed in the newlyweds'

bedroom as a good luck charm for fertility, along with peanuts, longan, and chestnuts,

punning on an invocation to "have an honored child soon".

In Bhutan, the leaves are used as a potpourri to help keep the houses of the inhabitants

smelling fresh and clean. It is also said to keep bugs and other insects out of the house

and free of infestation.

In Japan, the natsume has given its name to a style of tea caddy used in the Japanese tea


In Korea, the wood is used to make the body of the taepyeongso, a double-reed wind

instrument. The wood is also used to make Go bowls.

In Vietnam, the jujube fruit is eaten freshly picked from the tree as a snack. It is also

dried and used in desserts, such as sâm bổ lượng, a cold beverage that includes the dried

jujube, longan, fresh seaweed, barley, and lotus seeds.

A jujube honey is produced in the middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
[edit] Pests and diseases

Witch's brooms, prevalent in China and Korea, is the main disease affecting jujubes, though

plantings in North America currently are not affected by any pests or diseases.



Hovenia dulcis Thunb.
Common Names: Raisin Tree, Japanese Raisin Tree, Kenpo Nashi

Distant Affinity: Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba), Indian Jujube (Z. mauritiana).

Origin: The raisin tree is native to moist areas and mountains of China, although

cultivation spread long ago to Japan, Korea and India. The plant was introduced to the West

in about 1820.

Adaptation: The northern limits for winter survival and fruit ripening of the tree has not

been fully determined. It is cold-hardy to about -10° F, and fruits ripen in eastern North

America at least as far north as southern New York. There is a 28-year old specimen in the

Asian section of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and another specimen at nearby Huntington

Gardens. Raisin tree plants are not particularly suitable for container culture.
Growth Habit: The raisin tree is deciduous and can grow to a height of 70 feet or more, but

cultivated specimens typically reach a height of about 30 feet with a singular trunk and a

rounded head. The lower branches frequently drop off leaving a fairly high crotch. Growth

rate is moderate, perhaps a foot or two per year, more when young and less when old. Raisin

trees are particularly handsome when planted in groups. The deeply fissured bark is

counterpointed by gently undulating branches and overlapping leaves

Foliage: The cordate, glossy green leaves are borne alternately. They are a large (up to

six inches in length), rather limp leaf which must be spread out to see its shape.

Flowers: Racemes of small self-fruitful flowers bloom in late spring. They are cream

colored and compensate for their small size by being clustered together in great masses.

Where summers are cool, bloom may be delayed even until the end of summer with the result

that fruit does not form or ripen.

Fruit: The edible "raisins" are not a fruit at all but a short, swollen mature flower stalk

or peduncle which supports the inedible seed pod. As the pod matures, the peduncle of stem

attaching it to the cluster swells, becomes knobby and turns a translucent reddish brown. A

pear-like flavor develops as the sugars increase, and the peduncle is ready to eat when it

falls to the ground. Although the edible portions are small, close to the size of a raisin,

the crop is copious. The brown pod which is actually the fruit is not used.
Location: Although native to partially shaded sites, full sun helps hasten flowering and

ripening. When placed in a southwest corner, the tree provides summer shade and allows

winter sun to pass through the bare limbs.

Soil: The raisin tree tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and thrives in sandy loam.

Irrigation: Although somewhat tolerant of drought, raisin trees do best with a regular

supply of moisture.

Fertilization: Little is known about the fertilization needs of the tree, but a light to

moderate fertilizing in mid-spring is probably useful.

Pruning: The tree tends to prune itself, dropping the lower branches as the tree grows.

Propagation: The seeds have an impermeable seed coat that severely inhibits germination.

Several methods have been employed to get around the problem. The seed coat can be

scarified by nicking it with a file, or soaking the seed in concentrated sulfuric acid for

two hours. Wash the seed thoroughly with water following the acid soak. The seed can also

be soaked in hot tap water (approximately 140° F) for three consecutive days. Others have

had some luck with freezing the seed. After treatment, the seed are planted in potting

soil, covered with clear plastic wrap and placed in bright light. Seeds should germinate

within a week to a month or more. Plants grown from seed usually bear fruit within 7 - 10

years, though bearing within 3 years is possible under good conditions

The plant can also be propagated by softwood cuttings taken in late summer, and by root

cuttings. Little work has been done in the area of grafting.

Pests and diseases: Raisin trees are apparently free of any significant pests and diseases.

Deer will probably browse the foliage, but the roots do not seem to be attractive to


Harvest: Raisin tree peduncles do not become tasty until very late in the season. They are

excellent to eat out of hand or may be used in anything where raisins are normally used.

The bonus with raisin tree "raisins" is that they don't have to be dried. They are chopped

and added to fruitcake in Australia, and in China they are made into a beverage called

"tree honey" that is said to neutralize hangovers.



Actinidia arguta
Common Names: Hardy Kiwi, Bower Vine, Dessert Kiwi, Cocktail Kiwi, Tara Vine, Yang-tao.

Related Species: Chinese Egg Gooseberry (Actinidia coriacea), Kiwifruit (A. deliciosa),

Super-hardy Kiwi (A. kolomikta), Red Kiwi (A. melanandra), Silver Vine (A. polygama),

Purple Kiwi (A. purpurea).

Origin: The hardy kiwi is native to northern China, Korea, Siberia and possibly Japan.

Adaptation: The plants need a long growing season (about 150 frost-free days) which will

not be hampered by late winter or early autumn freezes. When fully dormant, they can

withstand temperatures to about -25° F (and perhaps a bit lower.) However they must

acclimate to cold slowly and any sudden plunge in temperature may cause trunk splitting and

subsequent damage to the vine. All cultivars need a certain period of winter chilling and

their needs vary, dependent upon cultivar, however, the exact amounts needed has not yet

been established. To date, all cultivars that have been grown in both high chill and low

chill areas have produced equally well. Late winter freezing temperatures will kill any

exposed buds. The plants can be successfully grown in large containers.
Growth Habit: In the forests where it is native, it is a climbing vine (liana), sometimes

climbing one hundred feet high into trees. In cultivation it is more well-behaved but must

be supported by a trellising system. The plant has a more delicate appearance than regular


Foliage: Leaves are elongated and generally 2 to 5 inches long and attached to the stem on

red petioles. They are usually serrated and far less leathery and fuzzy than regular


Flowers: The flowers are about one-half inch in diameter, white to cream colored, somewhat

fragrant, and produced as singlets to triplets in the leaf axiles. Flowering period extends

over several weeks from early May to June, depending on climatic conditions. Plants are

dioecious, having male and female flowers on separate plants, thus needing plants of both

sexes to produce crops. However, self-fruiting females are known to exist.

Fruit: The fruit are generally green, fuzzless, and the size of grapes. Cut open, they look

much like regular kiwifruit with its small black seeds, emerald green color, and typical

rayed pattern. Although typically green in both the skin and flesh, some cultivars have

various amount of red, either in the skin, flesh or both. Hardy kiwifruits are generally

sweeter than regular kiwifruit. Sugar levels vary, ranging from 14% (as with kiwifruit) up

to 29%.

Additional differences between cultivars can include perceived aroma of the fruit as well

as bitterness of the skin. Commercial cultivation has begun for this crop in many regions

of the United States due to the plants ability to grow in harsher climates than the

Location: The vines will tolerate some shade but prefer a sunny location where they can

ramble across some type of trellising system. They should have some protection from strong


Site Preparation: Hardy kiwi plants need a substantial trellis, patio cover, or other

permanent place to grow upon. For the trellis system, either a single wire or T-bar system

can be installed. Both have a 4 inch by 4 inch redwood post of 8 feet. For the T-bar, a 2

inch by 6 inch crossarm about 4 feet long is bolted in place. Bury the post 2 feet into the

ground and cement in if at all possible. At each end of the system, a cemented deadman

should be in place. Run wires across the posts and anchor tautly to the deadman. When using

a patio cover, no extra trellising needs to be in place. Simply run the plant up a corner

post to the top and allow the plant to then form a spoke work of shoots which would

resemble an umbrella.

Soils: Hardy kiwi prefer well-drained, somewhat acid (pH 5 - 6.5) soils. Neutral soils are

acceptable but the leaves may show nitrogen deficiency when the soils become too basic. The

plants will not tolerate salty soils.

Irrigation: Hardy kiwi plants need large volumes of water during the entire growing season

but must also be in well-drained soils. Watering regularly in the heat of the summer is a

must. Never allow a plant to undergo drought stress. Symptoms of drought stress are

drooping leaves, browning of the leaves around the edges, and complete defoliation with

regrowth of new shoots when the stress is continuous. More plants probably die from water

related problems than any other reason.

Fertilization: Based on work done on the regular kiwifruit, hardy kiwi plants are heavy

nitrogen feeders which should be applied in abundance during the first half of the growing

season. Late season applications of nitrogen will enhance fruit size but are discouraged as

fruit then tends to store poorly. In basic soils, a citrus and avocado tree fertilizer

should be broadcast about the vine and watered in well in early March. Follow up the

initial fertilizing by supplemental additions to early summer. In other areas, use a high

nitrogen fertilizer which contains trace elements unless it is known that the particular

soil is deficient in another nutrient. Mulching with manures and/or straws is very

beneficial. However, do not put the mulch directly in contact with the vine as crown rot

will occur.

Pruning: For best fruit production, pruning in the winter is a must. All pruning techniques

are usually based on a "cane replacement" and differ only based on the trellising method

used. Kiwi vines need to be supported and this is usually done in one of three ways: single

wire, 3-5 wire on a T-bar system, or onto a patio cover. In all cases, one stem is trained

up to a wire at six feet and then allowed to grow along the wire. When growth ends in a

"pig-tailing" of the shoot, it is cut behind the entanglement and new a shoot allowed to

grow from a leaf base. After two years multiple shoots will now emerge from the lateral

mainline. During the growing season, each lateral cane will send out a new shoot about 1/3

of the way from its own starting point. The next winter, prune off the older cane at the

point that it connects with last summers new shoot. This process repeats itself every year.

Propagation: In areas where the regular kiwifruit will grow, scions of the hardy kiwi may

be grafted directly onto kiwifruit rootstock. Otherwise, one must either root their own

from hardwood or greenwood cuttings or buy established plants.

Pests and diseases: Plants are relatively free from problems, possibly due to their lack of

heavy planting into areas so that pests begin to take a liking to the leaves, trunk, or

roots. One odd problem is the fact that the trunks have a catnip-like aroma which cats love

to rub against. When plants are small, this can be a problem as they can rub off any new

shoots which emerge in the spring. Garden snails can also be a problem on younger

plantings. Other pests include deer that browse on the leaves and gophers that attack the

roots. Scale insects can damage if populations build up too extensively. Greenhouse thrips

may also damage the fruit.

Harvest: Ripening depends both on the cultivar grown and local climatic conditions. The

Cordifolia cultivar ripens first in early September while the Anna (Ananasnaja) may need to

wait until late October/early November before it sweetens to its best. Hardy kiwifruits

drop or come off easily when they are ripe. Usually they are picked at the mature-ripe

stage and allowed to ripen off of the vine as is done with kiwifruit.
Many cultivars are known although no real attempt has been yet made to determine the best

for specific climates or regions. The following is a partial listing of cultivars:

    * Ananasnaja (Anna)
    * Cordifolia
    * Dumbarton Oaks
    * Geneva
    * Issai (2 distinct self-fruitful cultivars from Japan)
    * Ken's Red
    * Michigan State
    * 119-40B (Claimed self-fruitful)
    * Red Princess
    * Seedling selections by Professor Meader
    * 74 Series

Various males are known but no extensive work has been done to determine pollen count or

viability, flowering times, or vigorousness. If available, pollen from the regular

kiwifruit works well but the seed resulting is usually sterile.



Pawpaw (Asimina) is a genus of small clustered trees with large leaves and fruit, native to

North America. The genus includes the largest edible fruit indigenous to the continent.

They are understory trees found in well drained deep fertile bottom land and hilly upland

habitat. Pawpaw is in the same family (Annonaceae) as the custard-apple, cherimoya,

sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop, and it is the only member of that family not confined to

the tropics.

    * 1 Names
    * 2 Description
    * 3 Species
    * 4 Cultivation and uses
    * 5 History
    * 6 References
    * 7 External links

[edit] Names

The name, also spelled paw paw, paw-paw, and papaw, probably derives from the Spanish

papaya, perhaps because of the superficial similarity of their fruit. Pawpaw has numerous

other common names, often very local, such as prairie banana, Indiana (Hoosier) banana,

West Virginia banana, Kansas banana, Kentucky banana, Michigan banana, Missouri Banana, the

poor man's banana, Ozark banana, and Banango.
[edit] Description

Pawpaws are shrubs or small trees, reaching heights of 2–12 m tall. The northern,

cold-tolerant common pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is deciduous, while the southern species are

often evergreen.

The leaves are alternate, obovate, entire, 20–35 cm long and 10–15 cm broad.

The fetid flowers are produced singly or in clusters of up to eight together; they are

large, 4–6 cm across, perfect, with six sepals and petals (three large outer petals, three

smaller inner petals). The petal color varies from white to purple or red-brown.

The fruit is a large edible berry, 5–16 cm long and 3–7 cm broad, weighing from 20–500 g,

with numerous seeds; it is green when unripe, maturing to yellow or brown. It has a flavor

somewhat similar to both banana and mango, varying significantly by cultivar, and has more

protein than most fruits.

The shelf life of the ripe fruit is almost non-existent; it ripens to the point of

fermentation soon after it is picked. Methods of preservation include dehydration, making

it into jams or jellies, or pressure canning by using the numerical values for bananas. In

southern West Virginia pawpaws are made into a native version of banana nut cake or fruit

cake, and baked inside canning jars, the lids heat-sealed to keep the food for at least a


    * Bark: Light gray, sometimes blotched with lighter gray spots, sometimes covered with

small excrescences, divided by shallow fissures. Inner bark tough, fibrous. Branchlets

light brown, tinged with red, marked by shallow grooves.
    * Wood: Pale, greenish yellow, sapwood lighter; light, soft, coarse-grained and spongy.

Sp. gr., 0.3969; weight of cu ft 24.74 lb.
    * Winter buds: Small, brown, acuminate, hairy.
    * Leaves: Alternate, simple, feather-veined, obovate-lanceolate, ten to twelve inches

long, four to five broad, wedge-shaped at base, entire, acute at apex; midrib and primary

veins prominent. They come out of the bud conduplicate, green, covered with rusty tomentum

beneath, hairy above; when full grown are smooth, dark green above, paler beneath. When

crushed they have a scent similar to a green bell pepper. In autumn they are a rusty

yellow, which make spotting pawpaw groves possible from a long distance. Petioles short and

stout with a prominent adaxial groove. Stipules wanting.
    * Flowers: April, with the leaves. Perfect, solitary, axillary, rich red purple, two

inches across, borne on stout, hairy peduncles. Ill smelling. The triloba refers to the

shape of the flower, which is not unlike a tricorner hat.
    * Calyx: Sepals three, valvate in bud, ovate, acuminate, pale green, downy.
    * Corolla: Petals six, in two rows, imbricate in the bud. Inner row acute, erect,

nectariferous. Outer row broadly ovate, reflexed at maturity. Petals at first are green,

then brown, and finally become dull purple and conspicuously veiny.
    * Stamens: Indefinite, densely packed on the globular receptacle. Filaments short;

anthers extrorse, two-celled, opening longitudinally.
    * Pistils: Several, on the summit of the receptacle, projecting from the mass of

stamens. Ovary one-celled; stigma sessile; ovules many.
    * Fruit: September, October.[1]

[edit] Species
A red-purple, green, and white flower
Asimina reticulata

    * Asimina angustifolia Raf. - Slimleaf Pawpaw. Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
    * Asimina incana (W. Bartram) Exell - Woolly Pawpaw. Florida and Georgia.
          o Annona incana W. Bartram[2]
    * Asimina obovata (Willd.) Nash - Bigflower Pawpaw. Florida.
          o Annona obovata Willd.[3]
    * Asimina parviflora (Michx.) Dunal - Smallflower Pawpaw. Southern states from Texas to

    * Asimina pygmea (W. Bartram) Dunal - Dwarf Pawpaw. Florida and Georgia.
    * Asimina reticulata Shuttlw. ex Chapman - Netted Pawpaw. Florida and Georgia.
    * Asimina tetramera Small - Fourpetal Pawpaw. Florida (Endangered)
    * Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal - Common Pawpaw. Extreme southern Ontario, Canada, and the

eastern United States from New York west to southeast Nebraska, and south to northern

Florida and eastern Texas.
          o Annona triloba L.[4]

[edit] Cultivation and uses
Asimina triloba is often called prairie banana because of its banana-like creamy texture

and flavor.

The pawpaw is native to shady, rich bottom lands, where it often forms a dense undergrowth

in the forest. Where it dominates a tract it appears as a thicket of small slender trees,

whose great leaves are borne so close together at the ends of the branches, and which cover

each other so symmetrically, that the effect is to give a peculiar imbricated appearance to

the tree.[1]

Although it is a delicious and nutritious fruit[citation needed], it has never been

cultivated on the scale of apples and peaches, primarily because only frozen fruit will

store or ship well. It is also difficult to transplant because of fragile hairy root

tentacles that tend to break off unless a cluster of moist soil is retained on the root

mass. Cultivars are propagated by chip budding or whip grafting.

In recent years the pawpaw has attracted renewed interest, particularly among organic

growers, as a native fruit which has few to no pests, and which therefore requires no

pesticide use for cultivation. The shipping and storage problem has largely been addressed

by freezing. Among backyard gardeners it also is gaining in popularity because of the

appeal of fresh fruit and because it is relatively low maintenance once planted. The pulp

is used primarily in baked dessert recipes and for juicing fresh pawpaw drink or drink

mixtures (pawpaw, pineapple, banana, lime, lemon and orange tea mix). The pulp can also be

made into a country wine. In many recipes calling for bananas, pawpaw can be used with

volumetric equivalency.

The commercial growing and harvesting of pawpaws is strong in southeast Ohio. The Ohio

Pawpaw Growers' Association annually sponsors the Ohio Pawpaw Festival at Lake Snowden near

Albany, Ohio.

Pawpaw flowers are insect-pollinated, but fruit production is limited since few if any

pollinators are attracted to the flower's faint, or sometimes non-existent scent. Those

insects that are attracted are often scavenging fruit flies, carrion flies and beetles.

Because of difficult pollination, some[who?] may believe the flowers are self-incompatible.

Cross pollination of at least two different varieties of the plant is recommended. The

flowers produce an odor similar to that of rotting meat to attract blowflies or carrion

beetles for cross pollination.[citation needed] Lack of pollination is the most common

cause of poor fruiting, and growers resort to hand pollination, spraying fish emulsion, or

to hanging chicken necks or other meat to attract pollinators. Several species of Asimina

are larval hosts for the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly.

The leaves, twigs, and bark of the tree also contain natural insecticides known as

acetogenins, which can be used to make an organic pesticide.[5] Pawpaw fruit may be eaten

by foxes, opossums, squirrels and raccoons. However, pawpaw leaves and twigs are seldom

bothered by rabbits or deer.[6]

This colonial tree has a strong tendency to form colonial thickets if left unchecked. It is

ideal for creating a swift-growing habitat particularly in areas where frequent flooding

can threaten erosion. The root systems are capable of holding streambanks steady, and grow

well even in cold hollows with little exposure to winter sunlight.[citation needed]
[edit] History

The earliest documentation of pawpaws is in the 1541 report of the de Soto expedition, who

found Native Americans cultivating it east of the Mississippi River. The Lewis and Clark

Expedition sometimes subsisted on pawpaws during their travels. Chilled pawpaw fruit was a

favorite dessert of George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson planted it at Monticello. The

Ohio Pawpaw Growers' Association lobbied for the pawpaw to be the Ohio state native fruit

in 2006; this was made official in 2009.[



Cudrania tricuspidata Bur. ex Lavallee
Common Names: Che, Chinese Che, Chinese Mulberry, Cudrang, Mandarin Melon Berry, Silkworm


Distant Affinity: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), Jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), Fig (Ficus

spp.), Mulberry (Morus spp.), African Breadfruit (Treculis africana).

Origin: The che is native to many parts of eastern Asia from the Shantung and Kiangson

Provinces of China to the Nepalese sub-Himalayas. It became naturalized in Japan many years

ago. In China, the leaves of the che serve as a backup food for silkworms when mulberry

leaves are in short supply. The tree was introduced into England and other parts of Europe

around 1872, and into the U.S. around 1930.

Adaptation: The che requires minimal care and has a tolerance of drought and poor soils

similar to that of the related mulberry. It can be grown in most parts of California and

other parts of the country, withstanding temperatures of -20° F.
Growth Habit: The deciduous trees can eventually grow to about 25 ft. in height, but often

remains a broad, spreading bush or small tree if not otherwise trained when they are young.

Immature wood is thorny but loses its thorns as it matures. Female trees are larger and

more robust than male trees.

Foliage: The alternate leaves resemble those of the mulberry, but are smaller and thinner

and pale yellowish-green in color. The typical form is distinctly trilobate, with the

central lobe sometimes twice as long as the lateral ones, but frequently unlobed leaves of

varied outlines are also found on the same plant. As the plant grows, the tendency seems

towards larger and entire leaves, with at the most indistinct or irregular lobing. The

general form of the leaves comprise many variations between oblong and lanceolate. The che

leafs and blooms late in spring--after apples.

Flowers: The che is dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. Appearing

in June, both types of flowers are green and pea-sized. The male flowers turn yellow as the

pollen ripens and is released, while the wind-pollinated female flowers develop many small

stigmas over the surface of the immature fruit. Male plants occasionally have a few female

flowers which will set fruit.

Fruit: Like the related mulberry, the che fruit is not a berry but a collective fruit, in

appearance somewhat like a round mulberry crossed with a lychee, 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

The ripe fruits are an attractive red or maroon-red color with a juicy, rich red flesh

inside and 3 to 6 small brown seeds per fruit. The flavor is quite unlike the vinous

quality of better mulberries. While still firm they are almost tasteless, but when fully

soft ripe they develop a watermelon-like flavor that can be quite delicious. The sugar

content is similar to that of a ripe fig. In colder areas with early leaf drop the bright

red fruit are an attractive sight dangling from smooth, leafless branches.
Location: Ches need a warm, sunny location. They should not be planted near sidewalks since

the fallen fruit will stain. Like the mulberry, the trees are quite wind-resistant. One

method of planting is to put a male and a female plant in a single site, about 1 ft. apart,

and prune to a combined volume of approximately 25% male and 75% female.

Soil: The trees are relatively undemanding, but perform best in a warm, well-drained soil,

ideally a deep loam.

Irrigation: Although somewhat drought-resistant, ches need to be watered in dry seasons. In

summer dry California a deep watering about every two weeks is recommended. If the roots

become too dry during drought, the plant may began to defoliate and the unripe fruit is

likely to drop.

Fertilization: An annual application of a balanced fertilizer such as 10:10:10 NPK in late

spring will maintain satisfactory growth. Nitrogen is the only element likely to be needed

in California.

Pruning: The trees need regular pruning to control their shape. The branches formed the

previous season should be pruned to half their length. The branchlets on the remaining part

of the branches should also be trimmed about 50%. A summer pruning of the male plant is

also necessary when planted in a single site with the female. To grow as a tree, in

addition to pruning the lateral branches, the leading branch may also need to be staked to

point it in a vertical direction. Trees grafted onto Osage orange (Maclura pomifera)

rootstock tend to be more robust and grow in a more upright fashion.

Propagation: The che is readily grown from seed, although the plants can take up to 10

years to bear. Seeds should be sown as soon as extracted from the fruit. The plants are

often propagated from softwood cuttings taken in midsummer and treated with rooting

hormone. The che is also easily grafted to Osage orange rootstock using either a cleft or

whip-and-tongue graft.

Pests and Diseases: No pests or diseases have been noted. The ripe fruit is attractive to

birds, and deer will browse on both the fruit and foliage.

Harvest: Ches begin to bear at an early age and mature trees can produce as much as 400

pounds of fruit. The fruits ripen around November in California. Unlike mulberries, the

ripe fruits do not separate easily from the tree and must be individually picked. It is

important that the fruits be thoroughly ripe to be at their best. A darker shade of red

with some blackening of the skin is a good indication of full ripeness. The fruit will keep

for several days in a refrigerator in a covered dish. The fruits can be eaten out of hand

or cooked in various ways. Cooking with other fruits that can contribute some tartness

improves the taste. Mixing the ripe fruit in a blender and straining out the seeds yields a

beautiful and delicious che "nectar".

Commercial Potential: In China and other parts of East Asia the fruit is sometimes found in

local markets, but is relatively unknown commercially elsewhere. The attractive color and

reasonable shelf life of the che seem to indicate that with a little effort, there could be

a niche for it in farmer's markets and specialty stores. There also appears to be some

demand for the fruit in Asian markets. Better selection should further increase the

marketing potential of the che. A seedless fruit or one with with a bit of tartness would

be a great improvement, as would earlier ripening cultivars that separate readily from the




GOUMI (Eleagnus multiflora) This fast-growing shrub has many excellent qualities aside from

its small red fruit called goumi berries. Light, lilac-scented flowers appear in April or

May, developing into small fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruit is astringent

until ripe, but can be made into pies and jams if picked a little early. Goumi berries are

a rich source of vitamins A, C amd E and are under investigation as anti-cancer agents. The

deciduous bush can grow in almost any well-drained soil (including by the seaside) and

tolerates drought and pollution. Fixes nitrogen and can increase fruit yields when

interplanted in your orchard. Self fertile. Zones 7-9
SWEET SCARLET GOUMI (Eleagnus multiflora) Wouldn't you love to have a smallish (4-6ft.)

shrub that is self-fertile and produces fragrant creamy white flowers in May followed by

tasty (and nutritious) little red berries the size of small pie cherries? Goumi fruit is

delicious fresh, dried, or in a pie or jam. Scarlet Sweet is a Ukrainian variety. This easy

little shrub adapts well to any well-drained site in at least a half-day of sun, and it's

not bothered by pests or diseases. In addition, it's actually a nitrogen-fixing plant,

meaning it requires little fertilizer and makes a beneficial companion to other nearby

fruiting plants. Bees love the flowers too! Goumi is also highly valued as a medicinal

plant for many purposes. Begins bearing young, at 2-3 years. Zones 4-7.


 Wolfberry, commercially called goji berry,

is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum

(Chinese: 寧夏枸杞; pinyin: Níngxià gǒuqǐ) and L. chinense (Chinese: 枸杞; pinyin: gǒuqǐ), two

species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato,

eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco). It is native to southeastern

Europe and Asia.[1]

It is also known as Chinese wolfberry, mede berry, barbary matrimony vine, bocksdorn, Duke

of Argyll's tea tree, Murali (in India),[2] red medlar, or matrimony vine.[3] Unrelated to

the plant's geographic origin, the names Tibetan goji and Himalayan goji are in common use

in the health food market for products from this plant.

    * 1 Description
          o 1.1 Leaves and flower
          o 1.2 Fruit
    * 2 Etymology
    * 3 Significance
    * 4 Cultivation
          o 4.1 China
                + 4.1.1 Pesticide and fungicide use
          o 4.2 United Kingdom
                + 4.2.1 Importation of mature plants
    * 5 Uses
          o 5.1 Culinary
          o 5.2 Medicinal
          o 5.3 Safety issues
    * 6 Nutrient content
          o 6.1 Macronutrients
          o 6.2 Micronutrients and phytochemicals
          o 6.3 Wolfberry polysaccharides
                + 6.3.1 Criticism
          o 6.4 Functional food and beverage applications
    * 7 Marketing
          o 7.1 Commercial products marketed outside Asia
          o 7.2 Marketing claims under scrutiny in Europe
          o 7.3 Marketing claims under scrutiny in Canada and the United States
    * 8 See also
    * 9 References
    * 10 Bibliography
    * 11 External links

[edit] Description
    This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced

material may be challenged and removed. (May 2009)
Lycium barbarum illustration from Flora von Deutschland, by Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé,

Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany.

Wolfberry species are deciduous woody perennial plants, growing 1–3 m high. L. chinense is

grown in the south of China and tends to be somewhat shorter, while L. barbarum is grown in

the north, primarily in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and tends to be somewhat taller.
[edit] Leaves and flower
Wolfberry leaves and flower

Wolfberry leaves form on the shoot either in an alternating arrangement or in bundles of up

to three, each having a shape that is either lanceolate (shaped like a spearhead longer

than it is wide) or ovate (egg-like). Leaf dimensions are 7-cm wide by 3.5-cm broad with

blunted or round tips.

The flowers grow in groups of one to three in the leaf axils. The calyx (eventually

ruptured by the growing berry) consists of bell-shaped or tubular sepals forming short,

triangular lobes. The corolla are lavender or light purple, 9–14 mm wide with five or six

lobes shorter than the tube. The stamens are structured with filaments longer than the

anthers. The anthers are longitudinally dehiscent.

In the northern hemisphere, flowering occurs from June through September and berry

maturation from August to October, depending on the latitude, altitude, and climate.
[edit] Fruit

These species produce a bright orange-red, ellipsoid berry 1–2-cm deep. The number of seeds

in each berry varies widely based on cultivar and fruit size, containing anywhere between

10–60 tiny yellow seeds that are compressed with a curved embryo. The berries ripen from

July to October in the northern hemisphere.
[edit] Etymology

"Wolfberry" is the most commonly used English name[citation needed], while gǒuqǐ (枸杞) is

the Chinese name for the berry producing plant. In Chinese, the berries themselves are

called gǒuqǐzi (枸杞子), with zi meaning "seed" or specifically "berry". Other common names

are "the Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree"[3] and "matrimony vine".[3] Rarely, wolfberry is also

known in pharmacological references as Lycii fructus, meaning "Lycium fruit" in Latin.

The origin of the common name "wolfberry" is unknown, perhaps resulting from confusion over

the genus name, which resembles "lycos", the Greek word for wolf. In the English-speaking

world, "goji berry" has been used since the early 21st century as a synonym for

"wolfberry". The word "goji" is pronunciation of gǒuqǐ in Taiwanese Hokkien, the Mandarin

name of the plant, developed by those marketing wolfberry products in the West.

Lycium, the genus name, is derived from the ancient southern Anatolian region of Lycia

(Λυκία).[4] L. chinense was first described by the Scottish botanist Philip Miller in the

eighth edition of his The Gardener's Dictionary, published in 1768.

In Japan the plant is known as kuko (クコ) and the fruits are called kuko no mi (クコ の 実) or

kuko no kajitsu (クコ の 果 実); in Korea the berries are known as gugija (hangul: 구기자; hanja: 枸

杞子)[13]; in Vietnam the fruit is called "kỷ tử" (杞子), "cẩu kỷ" (枸杞), "cẩu kỷ tử"(枸杞子) but

the plant and its leaves are known more popularly as "củ khởi"; and in Thailand the plant

is called găo gèe (เก๋ากี้). In Tibetan the plant is called dretsherma

(Tibetwolfberryspelling.png), with dre meaning "ghost" and tsherma meaning "thorn"; and the

name of the fruit is dretshermǟ dräwu (Wolfberrytibetanname.png), with dräwu meaning

"fruit".[citation needed]
[edit] Significance

Since the early 21st century in the United States and other such developed countries, there

has been rapidly growing attention for wolfberries for their nutrient value and antioxidant

content, leading to a profusion of consumer products. Such rapid commercial development

extends from wolfberry having a high ranking among superfruits[5] expected to be part of a

multi-billion dollar market by 2011.[6][7]
[edit] Cultivation
[edit] China

The majority of commercially produced wolfberries come from the Ningxia Hui Autonomous

Region of north-central China and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of western China,

where they are grown on plantations. In Zhongning County, Ningxia, wolfberry plantations

typically range between 100 and 1000 acres (or 500–6000 mu) in area. As of 2005, over 10

million mu have been planted with wolfberries in Ningxia.[8]

Cultivated along the fertile aggradational floodplains of the Yellow River for more than

600 years, Ningxia wolfberries have earned a reputation throughout Asia for premium quality

sometimes described commercially as "red diamonds".[9] Government releases of annual

wolfberry production, premium fruit grades, and export are based on yields from Ningxia,

the region recognized with

    * The largest annual harvest in China, accounting for 42% (13 million kg, 2001) of the

nation's total yield of wolfberries, estimated at approximately 33 million kg (72 million

lb) in 2001.
    * Formation of an industrial association of growers, processors, marketers, and

scholars of wolfberry cultivation to promote the berry's commercial and export potential.
    * The nation's only source of therapeutic grade ("superior-grade") wolfberries used by

practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine.[10]

In addition, commercial volumes of wolfberries grow in the Chinese regions of Inner

Mongolia, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei. When ripe, the oblong, red berries

are tender and must be picked carefully or shaken from the vine into trays to avoid

spoiling. The fruits are preserved by drying them in full sun on open trays or by

mechanical dehydration employing a progressively increasing series of heat exposure over 48


Wolfberries are celebrated each August in Ningxia with an annual festival coinciding with

the berry harvest.[8] Originally held in Ningxia's capital, Yinchuan, the festival has been

based since 2000 in Zhongning County, an important center of wolfberry cultivation for the

region.[8] As Ningxia's borders merge with three deserts, wolfberries are also planted to

control erosion and reclaim irrigable soils from desertification.[11]

China, the main supplier of wolfberry products in the world, had total exports generating

US$120 million in 2004. This production derived from 82,000 hectares farmed nationwide,

yielding 95,000 tons of wolfberries.[9]
[edit] Pesticide and fungicide use

Organochlorine pesticides are conventionally used in commercial wolfberry cultivation to

mitigate destruction of the delicate berries by insects. Since the early 21st century, high

levels of insecticide residues (including fenvalerate, cypermethrin, and acetamiprid) and

fungicide residues (such as triadimenol and isoprothiolane), have been detected by the

United States Food and Drug Administration in some imported wolfberries and wolfberry

products of Chinese origin, leading to the seizure of these products.[12][13]

China's Green Food Standard, administered by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture's China

Green Food Development Center, does permit some amount of pesticide and herbicide

use.[14][15][16] Agriculture in the Tibetan plateau (where many "Himalayan" or

"Tibetan"-branded berries originate) conventionally uses fertilizers and pesticides, making

organic claims for berries originating here dubious.[17]
[edit] United Kingdom

The Duke of Argyll introduced the plant into the United Kingdom in the 1730s where it is

known as Duke of Argyll's Tea Tree. It was and still is used for hedging, especially in

coastal districts. Its red berries are attractive to a wide variety of British birds.[18]

The plant continues to grow wild in UK hedgerows. On 15 January 2003, the Department for

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched a project to improve the regulations

protecting traditional countryside hedgerows, and specifically mentioned Duke of Argyll's

Tea Tree as one of the species to be found growing in hedges located in Suffolk Sandlings,

Hadleigh, Bawdsey, near Ipswich, and Walberswick.[19]

The wolfberry has been naturalized as an ornamental and edible plant in the UK for nearly

300 years. On June 18, 2007, the FSA (UK Food Standards Agency) stated that there was a

significant history of the fruit being consumed in Europe before 1997, and has removed it

from the Novel Foods list.[20] It is now legal to sell the wolfberry in the UK as a food as

reported by the British Food Standards Agency.[21](also see discussion below, Marketing

claims under scrutiny in Europe).
[edit] Importation of mature plants

Importation of wolfberry plants into the United Kingdom from most countries outside Europe

is illegal, due to the possibility that as an introduced species they could be vectors of

diseases attacking Solanaceae crops, such as potato or tomato.[22]
[edit] Uses
Dried wolfberries

Wolfberries are almost never found in their fresh form outside of their production regions,

and are usually sold in open boxes and small packages in dried form. The amount of

desiccation varies in wolfberries: some are soft and somewhat tacky in the manner of

raisins, while others may be very hard.
[edit] Culinary

As a food, dried wolfberries are traditionally cooked before consumption. Dried wolfberries

are often added to rice congee and almond jelly, as well as used in Chinese tonic soups, in

combination with chicken or pork, vegetables, and other herbs such as wild yam, Astragalus

membranaceus, Codonopsis pilosula, and licorice root. The berries are also boiled as an

herbal tea, often along with chrysanthemum flowers and/or red jujubes, or with tea,

particularly pu-erh tea,[citation needed] and packaged teas are also available.

Various wines containing wolfberries (called gǒuqǐ jiǔ; 枸杞酒) are also produced,[23][24]

including some that are a blend of grape wine and wolfberries.

At least one Chinese company also produces wolfberry beer, and New Belgium Brewery makes

their seasonal Springboard ale with wolfberries used as flavoring. Since the early 21st

century, an instant coffee product containing wolfberry extract has been produced in China.

Young wolfberry shoots and leaves are also grown commercially as a leaf

[edit] Medicinal

Marketing literature for wolfberry products including several "goji juices" suggest that

wolfberry polysaccharides have extensive biological effects and health benefits, although

none of these claims have been supported by peer-reviewed research.

A May 2008 clinical study published by the peer-reviewed Journal of Alternative and

Complementary Medicine indicated that parametric data, including body weight, did not show

significant differences between subjects receiving Lycium barbarum berry juice and subjects

receiving the placebo; the study concluded that subjective measures of health were improved

and suggested further research in humans was necessary.[25] This study, however, was

subject to a variety of criticisms concerning its experimental design and


Published studies have also reported possible medicinal benefits of Lycium barbarum,

especially due to its antioxidant properties,[27] including potential benefits against

cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases,[28][29] vision-related diseases[30] (such as

age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma[31]), having neuroprotective properties[32]

or as an anticancer[33] and immunomodulatory agent.[34]

Wolfberry leaves may be used to make tea,[35] together with Lycium root bark (called

dìgǔpí; 地 骨 皮 in Chinese), for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). A glucopyranoside

(namely (+)-Lyoniresinol-3α-O-β-d-glucopyranoside) and phenolic amides

(dihydro-N-caffeoyltyramine, trans-N-feruloyloctopamine, trans-N-caffeoyltyramine and

cis-N-caffeoyltyramine) isolated from wolfberry root bark have inhibitory activity in vitro

against human pathogenic bacteria and fungi.[36][37]
[edit] Safety issues

Two published case reports described elderly women who experienced increased bleeding,

expressed as an elevated INR, after drinking quantities of wolfberry tea.[38][39] Further

in vitro testing revealed that the tea inhibited warfarin metabolism, providing evidence

for possible interaction between warfarin and undefined wolfberry phytochemicals.[38]

Atropine, a toxic alkaloid found in other members of the Solanaceae family, occurs

naturally in wolfberry fruit. The atropine concentrations of berries from China and

Thailand are variable, with a maximum content of 19 ppb, below the likely toxic amount.[40]
[edit] Nutrient content
[edit] Macronutrients

Wolfberry contains significant percentages of a day's macronutrient needs – carbohydrates,

protein, fat and dietary fiber. About 68% of the mass of dried wolfberries exists as

carbohydrate, 12% as protein, and 10% each as fiber and fat, giving a total caloric value

in a 100 gram serving of 370 (kilo)calories.
[edit] Micronutrients and phytochemicals

Wolfberries contain many nutrients and phytochemicals including

    * 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals
    * 18 amino acids
    * 6 essential vitamins
    * 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides
    * 5 unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and

alpha-linolenic acid
    * beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols
    * 5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin (below), lutein, lycopene and

cryptoxanthin, a xanthophyll
    * numerous phenolic pigments (phenols) associated with antioxidant properties

Select examples given below are for 100 grams of dried berries.

    * Calcium. Wolfberries contain 112 mg per 100 gram serving, providing about 8-10% of

the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI).
    * Potassium. Wolfberries contain 1,132 mg per 100 grams dried fruit, giving about 24%

of the DRI.
    * Iron. Wolfberries have 9 mg iron per 100 grams (100% DRI).
    * Zinc. 2 mg per 100 grams dried fruit (18% DRI).
    * Selenium. 100 grams of dried wolfberries contain 50 micrograms (91% DRI)
    * Riboflavin (vitamin B2). At 1.3 mg, 100 grams of dried wolfberries provide 100% of

    * Vitamin C. Vitamin C content in dried wolfberries has a wide range (from different

sources[citation needed]) from 29 mg per 100 grams to as high as 148 mg per 100 grams

(respectively, 32% and 163% DRI).

Wolfberries also contain numerous phytochemicals for which there are no established DRI

values. Examples:

    * Beta-carotene: 7 mg per 100 grams dried fruit.
    * Zeaxanthin. Reported values for zeaxanthin content in dried wolfberries vary

considerably, from 2.4 mg per 100 grams [41] to 82.4 mg per 100 grams [42] to 200 mg per

100 grams.[43] The higher values would make wolfberry one of the richest edible plant

sources known for zeaxanthin content.[44] Up to 77% of total carotenoids present in

wolfberry exist as zeaxanthin.[45]
    * Polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are a major constituent of wolfberries, representing

up to 31% of pulp weight.

[edit] Wolfberry polysaccharides

One study[46] published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that:

    * Endogenous lipid peroxidation, and decreased antioxidant activities, as assessed by

superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and total

antioxidant capacity (TAOC), and immune function were observed in aged mice and restored to

normal levels in Lycium polysaccharide-treated groups. Antioxidant activities of Lycium

barbarum polysaccharides were found to be comparable with normal antioxidant, vitamin C.

Furthemore, adding vitamin C to the polysaccharide treatment further increased in vivo

antioxidant activity of the polysaccharides.

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