Thatching Materials

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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:19




Typha latifolia -
L.


Reedmace















AuthorL.Botanical references17, 200
FamilyTyphaceaeGenusTypha
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeThroughout the world from the Arctic to latitude 30° S, incl Britain but absent from Africa, S. Asia
HabitatShallow
water up to 15cm deep in ponds, lakes, ditches, slow-flowing streams
etc, succeeding in acid or alkaline conditions[9, 17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 5 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 2.5m by 3m.
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from June to August. The flowers
are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both
sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires wet soil and can grow in water.


Habitats



Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Pollen; Root; Seed; Stem.


Edible Uses: Oil.

Roots - raw or cooked[2, 12]. They can be boiled and eaten like
potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet syrup. The roots
can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder is rich in
protein and can be mixed with wheat flour and then used for making
bread, biscuits, muffins etc[55, 62, 95, 183]. One hectare of this
plant can produce 8 tonnes of flour from the rootstock[85]. The plant
is best harvested from late autumn to early spring since it is richest
in starch at this time[9]. The root contains about 80% carbohydrate (30
- 46% starch) and 6 - 8% protein[85].
Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked[12, 55, 62, 94, 102, 183]. An
asparagus substitute. They taste like cucumber[212]. The shoots can
still be used when they are up to 50cm long[85].
Base of mature stem - raw or cooked[2, 9, 55]. It is best to remove the
outer part of the stem[62, 183]. It is called 'Cossack asparagus'[183].
Immature flowering spike - raw, cooked or made into a soup[62, 85, 94].
It tastes like sweet corn[183].
Seed - raw or cooked[2, 257]. The seed is rather small and fiddly to
utilize, but has a pleasant nutty taste when roasted[12]. The seed can
be ground into a flour and used in making cakes etc[257].
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[55, 85]. Due to the small size
of the seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop[K].
Pollen - raw or cooked. The pollen can be used as a protein rich
additive to flour when making bread, porridge etc[12, 55, 62, 94, 102].
It can also be eaten with the young flowers[85], which makes it
considerably easier to utilize. The pollen can be harvested by placing
the flowering stem over a wide but shallow container and then gently
tapping the stem and brushing the pollen off with a fine brush[9]. This
will help to pollinate the plant and thereby ensure that both pollen
and seeds can be harvested[K].

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anticoagulant; Astringent; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Galactogogue; Haemostatic; Refrigerant; Sedative; Tonic; Vulnerary.


The leaves are diuretic[218]. The leaves have been mixed with oil and
used as a poultice on sores[257].
The pollen is astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic,
refrigerant, sedative, suppurative and vulnerary[218]. The dried pollen
is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes
haemostatic[238]. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney
stones, haemorrhage, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding,
post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system[222,
238]. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women[238]. Externally,
it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhoea and injuries[238].
A decoction of the stems has been used in the treatment of whooping
cough[257].
The roots are diuretic, galactogogue, refrigerant and tonic[218]. The
roots are pounded into a jelly-like consistency and applied as a
poultice to wounds, cuts, boils, sores, carbuncles, inflammations,
burns and scalds[222, 257].
The flowers are used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments
including abdominal pain, amenorrhoea, cystitis, dysuria, metrorrhagia
and vaginitis[218]. The young flower heads are eaten as a treatment for
diarrhoea[222].
The seed down has been used as a dressing on burns and scalds[257].

Other Uses


Baby care; Biomass; Fibre; Insulation; Lighting; Miscellany; Paper; Soil stabilization; Stuffing; Thatching; Tinder; Weaving.


The stems and leaves have many uses. Gathered in the autumn they make a
good thatch, can be used in making paper, can be woven into mats,
chairs, hats etc[94, 99, 257]. They are a good source of biomass,
making an excellent addition to the compost heap or used as a source of
fuel etc. The pulp of the plant can be converted into rayon[222].
The stems can be used to make rush lights. The outer stem is removed
except for a small strip about 10mm wide which acts as a spine to keep
the stem erect. The stem is then soaked in oil and can be lit and used
like a candle[55].
The female flowers make an excellent tinder and can be lit from the
spark of a flint[212].
A fibre is obtained from the blossom stem and flowers[55, 57, 99].
A fibre obtained from the leaves can be used for making paper[189] The
leaves are harvested in summer, autumn or winter and are soaked in
water for 24 hours prior to cooking. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours
with soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours. They make a
green or brown paper[189].
The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc[257]. They
have good insulating and buoyancy properties and have also been used as
a wound dressing and a lining for babies nappies[99].
The flowering stems can be dried and used for insulation, they also
have good buoyancy properties[55, 171].
The pollen is highly inflammable, it is used in making fireworks
etc[115].

Cultivation details



A very easily grown plant, succeeding in the boggy margins of ponds or
in shallow water up to 15cm deep[17]. It succeeds in acid and
calcareous soils and requires a less organic-rich soil than T.
angustifolia in order to do well[17]. It succeeds in sun or part
shade[200].
A very invasive plant spreading freely at the roots when in a suitable
site, it is not suitable for growing in small areas[24]. Unless
restrained by some means, such as a large bottomless container, the
plant will soon completely take over a site and will grow into the
pond, gradually filling it in. This species will often form an almost
complete monoculture in boggy soil.
Provides excellent cover for wild fowl[1].

Propagation



Seed - surface sow in a pot and stand it in 3cm of water. Pot up the
young seedlings as soon as possible and, as the plants develop,
increase the depth of water. Plant out in summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, harvest the young shoots when they are
about 10 - 30cm tall, making sure there is at least some root attached,
and plant them out into their permanent positions.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:17




Typha angustifolia -
L.


Small Reed Mace















AuthorL.Botanical references17, 200, 270
FamilyTyphaceaeGenusTypha
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeThroughout the world from the Arctic to latitude 30° S, including Britain but absent from Africa.
HabitatWater
up to 15cm deep, avoiding acid conditions[17]. Often somewhat brackish
or subsaline water or wet soil in America, growing from sea level to
elevations of 1900 metres[270].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 5 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 3m by 3m.
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from June to July. The flowers
are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both
sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires wet soil and can grow in water.


Habitats



Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Pollen; Root; Seed; Stem.


Edible Uses: Oil.

Roots - raw or cooked[12, 13, 46, 94]. They can be boiled and eaten
like potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet syrup[183].
The roots can also be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a
thickener in soups etc or added to cereal flours[62]. Rich in protein,
this powder is used to make biscuits etc[183].
Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked[2, 12, 94, 159, 183]. An
asparagus substitute[62].
Base of mature stem - raw or cooked[62]. It is best to remove the outer
part of the stem[62].
Young flowering stem - raw, cooked or made into a soup[85, 94, 183]. It
tastes like sweet corn.
Seed - cooked[183]. The seed is very small and fiddly to harvest, but
it has a pleasant nutty taste when roasted[12].
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[85]. Due to the small size of
the seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop.
Pollen - raw or cooked. A protein rich additive to flour used in making
bread, porridge etc[12, 105, 183]. It can also be eaten with the young
flowers[85], which makes it considerably easier to utilize[K]. The
pollen can be harvested by placing the flowering stem over a wide but
shallow container and then gently tapping the stem and brushing the
pollen off with a fine brush[9]. This will help to pollinate the plant
and thereby ensure that both pollen and seeds can be harvested[K].

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anticoagulant; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Haemostatic; Lithontripic.


The pollen is diuretic, emmenagogue and haemostatic[176]. The dried
pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it
becomes haemostatic[238]. It is used internally in the treatment of
kidney stones, internal haemorrhage of almost any kind, painful
menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses
and cancer of the lymphatic system[222, 238, 254]. It should not be
prescribed for pregnant women[238]. Externally, it is used in the
treatment of tapeworms, diarrhoea and injuries[238].
An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of gravel[257].

Other Uses


Biomass; Insulation; Miscellany; Paper; Soil stabilization; Stuffing; Thatching; Tinder; Weaving.


The stems and leaves have many uses, they make a good thatch, can be
used in making paper, can be woven into mats, chairs, hats etc[13, 46,
57, 61, 94]. They are a good source of biomass, making an excellent
addition to the compost heap or used as a source of fuel etc.
The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc[46, 57, 159].
They have good insulating and buoyancy properties[171].
The female flowers make an excellent tinder and can be lit from the
spark of a flint[212].
The pollen is highly inflammable and is used in making fireworks[115].
This plants extensive root system makes it very good for stabilizing
wet banks of rivers, lakes etc[200].

Cultivation details



A very easily grown plant, it grows in boggy pond margins or in shallow
water up to 15cm deep[17]. It requires a rich soil if it is to do
well[17]. Succeeds in sun or part shade.
A very invasive plant spreading freely at the roots when in a suitable
site, it is not suitable for growing in small areas. Unless restrained
by some means, such as a large bottomless container, the plant will
soon completely take over a site and will grow into the pond, gradually
filling it in. This species will often form an almost complete
monoculture in boggy soil.
The dense growth provides excellent cover for water fowl[1].

Propagation



Seed - surface sow in a pot and stand it in 3cm of water. Pot up the
young seedlings as soon as possible and, as the plants develop,
increase the depth of water. Plant out in summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, harvest the young shoots when they are
about 10 - 30cm tall, making sure there is at least some root attached,
and plant them out into their permanent positions.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:14




Scirpus lacustris -
L.


Bulrush















AuthorL.Botanical references17, 200
FamilyCyperaceaeGenusScirpus
SynonymsSchoenoplectus lacustris - (L.)Pall.

Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope, incl Britain, south and east from Lapland to Africa and Asia. N. and C. America, Polynesia.
HabitatBogs, shallow pond margins, rivers and lakes, usually where there is abundant silt, in acid or calcareous conditions[1, 17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple icon 1 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 2.5m.

It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from June to August, and the
seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite
(have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil and can grow in water.


Habitats


Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves; Pollen; Root; Seed; Stem.


Root - raw or cooked[2, 85, 95, 183]. Rich in starch, it can be
dried and ground into a powder or made into a syrup[13, 85, 95, 183].
The buds at the end of the rhizomes are crisp and sweet, making
excellent eating raw[183].
Young shoots - raw or cooked[85, 183]. Used in spring.
Seed - ground up into a powder and mixed with flour for use in making
cakes etc[85, 183]. The seed is small and rather fiddly to harvest and
utilize.
Base of mature stems - raw or cooked. Somewhat tough[85].
Pollen - raw or cooked. Rich in pollen, it is mixed with flour and used
in making cakes etc[85, 183].

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent; Cancer; Diuretic.


The roots are astringent and diuretic[240]. They were formerly employed medicinally but have fallen into disuse[4].
This plant is a traditional medicine for cancer[218].

Other Uses



Paper; Thatching; Weaving.


The stems are frequently used for making matting, chair bottoms etc and
thatching[1, 4, 23, 85, 100, 115]. They were at one time imported in
large quantities for this purpose[4].
The pith of the stems is used in paper making[100].

Cultivation details



Succeeds in any wet to moisture retentive soil, pond margins and
shallow water in full sun or shade[1, 200]. Plants can succeed in
fairly deep water.
Hardy to about -25°c[187].
Some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[187].

Propagation



Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in
3cm of water. Only just cover the seed with soil[200]. The seed usually
germinates fairly quickly. Prick out the plants when large enough to
handle and plant out in their permanent positions in early summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out
direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up
the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in
a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the
summer.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:11




Pteridium aquilinum -
(L.)Kuhn.


Bracken















Author(L.)Kuhn.Botanical references17, 200
FamilyPolypodiaceaeGenusPteridium
SynonymsPteris aquilina - L.

Known Hazardswarning signThere
are a number of reports regarding the possible health risks of this
plant. The huge quantity of spores released by large areas of bracken
are suggested to be implicated in stomach cancers. A recent study
suggests that this is not such a problem in Britain as was once
believed, the spores are not produced in such high quantities nor do
they travel so far due to our normally humid atmosphere. The leaves and
roots contain substances that deprive the body of vitamin B1 if they
are eaten raw, though they are possibly alright cooked[102]. The leaves
are also said to be carcinogenic[65, 76].
RangeMost areas of the globe, including Britain, but absent from the Arctic and temperate S. America.
HabitatHeath,
woodland and grassland. A common and highly invasive weed of acid
soils[9], it is rarely found on limestone or wet peats[17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of fern
Fern growing to 1.2m by 2m at a fast rate.

It is hardy to zone 4. The seeds ripen from July to August.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soil.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires dry or moist soil.
The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


Habitats


Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Meadow;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Edible Uses: Sweetener.


Root - cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder[2, 13, 46, 55,
66, 94, 95, 102, 257]. The root is very fibrous so traditionally it was
baked after being dried, the outer skin was peeled off and the roots
pounded into a powder with sticks so that the inner fibres could be
removed[173, 256]. The dried root will store for years[173]. The root
contains 60% starch[74]. The dry weight content of starch is between 43
and 72%[173]. This starch can be extracted from the roots and is used
in making dumplings which are eaten with soya flour and sugar as a
delicacy[183]. The root has a somewhat constipating effect upon the
body so is best eaten with foods that have a laxative quality[256].
Young shoots, harvested when still unfurling, can be eaten raw or
cooked[2, 13, 55, 62, 94, 102, 183, 257]. They can be used like
asparagus or like spinach[9, 257]. Somewhat flavourless, though they
are considered to be a delicacy in Japan[4]. The fronds should be used
when less than 20cm long, longer ones have a terrible taste[9, 213].
The shoots are somewhat bitter so they are often blanched for a few
minutes in boiling water, then left to soak in cold water for two hours
before being cooked[4, 9]. Although this might well improve the
flavour, it will greatly reduce the nutritional value[K]. The shoots
should be steeped in lye first[55]. Occasional use should cause no
problems, but regular consumption is not advisable because the shoots
might be carcinogenic[9, 65].
The plant yields an edible saccharine substance[55]. (from the cooking
root??).

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic; Antiemetic; Antiseptic; Diuretic; Poultice; Refrigerant; Tonic.


The young shoots are diuretic, refrigerant and vermifuge[4, 46, 94,
218]. They have been eaten as a treatment for cancer[257]. The leaves
have been used in a steam bath as a treatment for arthritis[257].
A decoction of the plant as been used in the treatment of
tuberculosis[257].
A poultice of the pounded fronds and leaves has been used to treat
sores of any type and also to bind broken bones in place[257].
The root is antiemetic, antiseptic, appetizer and tonic[257]. A
tincture of the root in wine is used in the treatment of
rheumatism[218]. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of
stomach cramps, chest pains, internal bleeding, diarrhoea, colds and
also to expel worms[4, 46, 94, 222, 257]. The poulticed root is applied
to sores, burns and caked breasts[222, 257].

Other Uses


Adhesive; Basketry; Biomass; Compost; Dye; Hair; Lining; Mulch; Packing; Repellent; Soap; Soap making; Stuffing; Thatching; Tinder.


A glue can be made from the rootstock[74].
A brown dye is obtained from the fronds[6, 67, 141]. It is green
according to another report[141].
The fibrous remnants from edible roots make a good tinder[99].
The rhizome lathers readily in water and can be used as a soap[74]. A
decoction of the root has been used as a hair wash[257].
The roots have been rubbed into the scalp in order to promote hair
growth[257].
The roots have been pounded to remove the bark, then split into flat
bands and used as the black strands of cheap baskets[257].
The ashes of the plant are rich in potassium and could be used as a
fertilizer[4]. They are also used in the manufacture of glass (when
mixed with sand) and in making soap (when mixed with vegetable oil)[4,
74]. The roots contain up to 20% potash in early summer, but this
reduces to about 5% in the autumn[4].
The whole plant is a very valuable addition to the compost heap, it is
rich in potash and makes an excellent compost for tree seeds[67, 94].
Cut twice a year if you want the plants to continue growing, three cuts
annually will weaken and eventually kill off the plants.
The dried ferns produce a very durable thatch[4].
The leaves are used as a packing material for fruit, keeping it fresh
and cool without imparting any colour or flavour[4, 66, 99]. They are
also used as a lining for baskets, fruit drying racks etc and as a
bedding[66, 99]. The leaves repel insects and can help to prevent rot
in the fruits etc[99].
Dried bracken fronds are very useful in the garden as a mulch for
somewhat tender plants. This will keep the soil warmer, protect from
wind damage and also keep off some of the rain[4, K].

Cultivation details



Prefers a light, acid, deep sandy soil[1]. Dislikes shade according to
some reports[13, 17] whilst another says that it tolerates full sun but
prefers light shade[200]. Prefers a pH in the range 4 to 6[200].
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing
deer[233].
This is an extremely invasive plant and is a noxious weed. It is one of
the most widespread plants in the world, being found in all parts of
the globe other than the extreme north and south[4]. Plants can be cut
down twice a year to provide compost material, this will not kill the
plants. If the plants are cut down three times a year this will
gradually weaken and eventually kill them.

Propagation



Spores can be surface sown in the same way as other ferns but this
plant really does not need any help in spreading itself about.
Division is also possible but usually totally unnecessary.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:07




Marsippospermum grandiflorum -
(L.f.)Hook.f.















Author(L.f.)Hook.f.Botanical references69
FamilyJuncaceaeGenusMarsippospermum
SynonymsRostkovia grandiflora - Hook.f.

Known HazardsNone known
RangeSouthern S. America - Chile and the Falkland Islands.
HabitatWet sands, open moist peaty grassland, river margins, bogs and moorland to 350 metres and north to latitude 47°s[69].
Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 0.3m.
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil.


Habitats



Bog Garden; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses



None known

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses


Basketry; Thatching.


The leaves are used in basket making and thatching etc[69].

Cultivation details



We have almost no information on this species and do not know if it
will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should
succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. See details above of its
native habitat for ideas on its cultivation needs.

Propagation



Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest surface
sowing the seed in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the
seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and
grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out
in late spring or early summer.
Division might be possible in the spring.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:04




Juncus inflexus -
L.


Hard Rush















AuthorL.Botanical references17, 50, 200
FamilyJuncaceaeGenusJuncus
SynonymsJuncus glaucus - Sibth.

Known Hazardswarning signThe
plant is reported to be toxic to mammals[240]. It causes irritation of
the stomach and diarrhoea, followed by nervousness and progressive
blindness; the animal may die of cerebral haemorrhage, preceded by
convulsions[240].
RangeEurope, including Britain, from Sweden south and east to N. Africa, the Himalayas and Monglia.
HabitatDamp pastures, especially on heavy basic or neutral soils[17].
Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics




Perennial.
It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from June to August. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.

The plant prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil and can grow in water.



Habitats


Meadow; Pond; Bog Garden; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses



None known

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses


Basketry; Thatching; Weaving.


The stems are used in basket making, thatching, weaving mats etc[46, 61].

Cultivation details



Easily grown in a moist soil, bog garden or shallow water[1, 200]. Prefers a heavy soil in sun or light shade[200].

Propagation


Seed - surface sow in pots in a cold frame in early spring and keep
the compost moist. When they are large enough to handle, prick the
seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if
they have grown sufficiently, otherwise in late spring of the following
year.
Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct
into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller
clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well.
Plant them out in the spring.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:02




Juncus effusus -
L.


Soft Rush















AuthorL.Botanical references17, 200
FamilyJuncaceaeGenusJuncus
SynonymsJuncus communis effusus - (L.)E.Mey.

Known HazardsPossibly toxic to mammals[76].
RangeThroughout the northern temperate zone, including Britain, east and south Africa, Australasia.
HabitatWet pastures, bogs, damp woods etc, usually on acid soils[17].
Edibility Rating 1 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 2 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics





Perennial growing to 1.5m by 0.5m.

It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from June to August. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil.
The plant prefers acid and neutral soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil and can grow in water.
The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.


Habitats


Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Meadow; Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves.


Young shoots - raw[118, 257]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Antiphlogistic; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Lenitive; Lithontripic; Pectoral; Sedative.


The pith of the stem is antiphlogistic, depurative, discutient,
diuretic, febrifuge, lenitive, lithontripic, pectoral and sedative[147,
176, 178, 218, 240]. It is used in the treatment of sore throats,
jaundice, oedema, acute urinary tract infection and morbid crying of
babies[176].

Other Uses


Basketry; Lighting; Paper; Strewing; String; Thatching; Weaving.


Stems are used in basket making, thatching, weaving mats etc[23, 46,
66, 99, 115, 171]. The stems can also be dried then twisted or braided
into ropes for tying or binding[257].
Stems can be peeled (except for a small spine which is left to keep
them upright) and soaked in oil then used as a candle[6, 46, 61, 115].
A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper[189]. The
stems are harvested in late summer or autumn, they are split and cut
into usable pieces and then soaked for 24 hours in clear water. They
are then cooked for 2 hours with lye and beaten in a blender. The
fibres make an off-white paper[189]. When mixed with mulberry fibres
they can be used for making stencil paper[189].
The whole plant was formerly used as a strewing herb[1, 66, 115].

Cultivation details



Easily grown in a moist soil, bog garden or shallow water[1, 200]. Prefers a heavy soil in sun or light shade[200].

Propagation



Seed - surface sow in pots in a cold frame in early spring and keep the
compost moist. When they are large enough to handle, prick the
seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if
they have grown sufficiently, otherwise in late spring of the following
year.
Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct
into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller
clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well.
Plant them out in the spring.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 07:01




Juncus conglomeratus -
L.















AuthorL.Botanical references17
FamilyJuncaceaeGenusJuncus
Synonyms
Known Hazardswarning signAlthough
no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, there is a
report that one member of this genus is possibly toxic to mammals[76]..
RangeEurope, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia
HabitatWet pastures, bogs, damp woods etc, almost exclusively on acid soils.[17].
Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 1.5m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from May to July. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.

The plant prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil and can grow in water.


Habitats


Woodland Garden; Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses



None known

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses


Basketry; Thatching; Weaving.


The stems are used in basket making, thatching, weaving mats etc[46, 61].

Cultivation details



Easily grown in a moist soil, bog garden or shallow water[1, 200]. Prefers a heavy soil in sun or light shade[200].
This species is closely related to J. effusus[17].

Propagation


Seed - surface sow in pots in a cold frame in early spring and keep
the compost moist. When they are large enough to handle, prick the
seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if
they have grown sufficiently, otherwise in late spring of the following
year.
Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct
into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller
clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well.
Plant them out in the spring.

Links




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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:59




Juncus acutus -
L.


Sharp Rush















AuthorL.Botanical references17
FamilyJuncaceaeGenusJuncus
Synonyms
Known Hazardswarning signAlthough
no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, there is a
report that one member of this genus is possibly toxic to mammals[76]..
RangeSouthern Europe, including Britain, south and east from France to N. Africa and Macronesia.
HabitatSandy sea shores and dune slacks, occasionally in salt marshes[17].
Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 1.5m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower in June. The flowers are
hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by
Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soil.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil and can grow in water.


Habitats



Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses



None known

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses


Basketry; Thatching; Weaving.


The stems are used in making woven baskets, thatching, weaving mats etc[46, 61, 257].

Cultivation details



Easily grown in a moist soil, bog garden or shallow water[1, 200]. Prefers a heavy soil in sun or light shade[200].

Propagation


Seed - surface sow in pots in a cold frame in early spring and keep
the compost moist. When they are large enough to handle, prick the
seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if
they have grown sufficiently, otherwise in late spring of the following
year.
Division in spring. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct
into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller
clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well.
Plant them out in the spring.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:51




Erica vagans -
L.


Cornish Heath















AuthorL.Botanical references11, 17, 200
FamilyEricaceaeGenusErica
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeWestern Europe in Britain, France and N. Spain.
HabitatHeaths in S. Cornwall, rare in Britain but locally common and abundant in Cornwall[17].
Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of shrub
An evergreen Shrub growing to 0.75m by 0.75m.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to
November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female
organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths &
Butterflies).
The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
The plant prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soil.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil.
The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.



Habitats


Ground Cover;

Edible Uses



None known

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses



Brush; Dye; Fuel; Ground cover; Thatching.

A dye is obtained from the flowers. No further details.
The twigs are used for making brushes, thatching, bedding etc and also
as a fuel.
A good ground cover plant, though it might need weeding for the first
year[197]. It can be clipped in spring to give denser growth[197, 208].
Space the plants about 60cm apart each way[208].

Cultivation details



A calcifuge plant, it requires a light lime-free loam[11]. Grows well
on sunny slopes, thriving in any soil that is not heavy or
alkaline[11]. Plants can succeed in a slightly alkaline soil if it is
rich in humus according to some reports[182, 188]. Grows best in a poor
soil[11]. Resents dry soils. Prefers an open situation.
A very ornamental plant[1], there are many named varieties[182].
A food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies and
moths as well as providing a food source for the moths and
butterflies[30].
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].


Propagation



Seed - surface sow in an acid sandy compost in a cold frame in spring.
Keep moist. Prick out the plants as soon as they are large enough to
handle and plant them in their permanent positions when they are 5 -
8cm tall[11].
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 3cm long taken from twiggy lateral growths
near the base of the plant, July/August in a frame. Remove the leaves
from the bottom part of the stem without causing any damage to the
bark. The cuttings root in a few weeks if they are given some bottom
heat. Plant out in spring[11].
Layering in spring or autumn. Plants can be 'dropped' and then dug up
and divided about 6 - 12 months later. Dropping involves digging up the
plant and then replanting it about 15 - 20cm deeper in the soil to
encourage roots to form along the stems[78].

Cultivars


There are some named forms for this species, but these have
been developed for their ornamental value and not for their other uses.
Unless you particularly require the special characteristics of any of
these cultivars, we would generally recommend that you grow the natural
species for its useful properties. We have, therefore, not listed the
cultivars in this database[K].



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:49




Cladium mariscus -
(L.)Pohl.


Saw Grass















Author(L.)Pohl.Botanical references17, 200
FamilyCyperaceaeGenusCladium
SynonymsCladium jamaicense - Crantz.

Mariscus mariscus - (L.)Borbás.

Known HazardsNone known
RangeWidely distributed in the warmer and damper parts of both hemispheres, including Britain.
HabitatReed swamps and fens, often forming dense pure stands, usually on neutral or alkaline soils[17].
Edibility Ratingapple icon 1 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man

icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 3m by 3m at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from July to August, and the
seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite
(have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil.


Habitats


Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves.


The young shoots may be edible[177].


Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses


Basketry; Thatching.


The stems are used in thatching[61].
The roots have been used to make small baskets[257].

Cultivation details



Succeeds in any wet or moisture-retentive soil in full sun or partial shade[200].

Propagation


Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in a pot
standing in 2cm of water[200]. When large enough to handle, prick the
seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring[200].



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:48




Calluna vulgaris -
(L.)Hull.


Heather















Author(L.)Hull.Botanical references11, 17, 200
FamilyEricaceaeGenusCalluna
SynonymsErica vulgaris - L.

Known HazardsNone known
RangeMuch of Europe, including Britain, to N. W. Morocco. Less abundant in the east of its range..
HabitatAcid soils in open woodlands, moors and marshy ground[7]. Often the dominant plant on well-drained acid moors and heaths[17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of shrub
An evergreen Shrub growing to 0.6m by 0.5m.

It is hardy to zone 4. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to
October, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are
hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by
Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies), wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
The plant prefers acid soils and can grow in very acid soil.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires dry or moist soil.
The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


Habitats


Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Hedge;

Edible Uses


Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.


A tea is made from the flowering stems[177, 183].
A kind of mead was once brewed from the flowers and the young shoots have been used instead of hops to flavour beer[7, 183].


Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiseptic; Bach; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Sedative; Vasoconstrictor.


Heather has a long history of medicinal use in folk medicine. In
particular it is a good urinary antiseptic and diuretic, disinfecting
the urinary tract and mildly increasing urine production[254].
The flowering shoots are antiseptic, astringent, cholagogue,
depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mildly sedative and
vasoconstrictor[7, 8, 9, 21, 165, 238]. The plant is often macerated
and made into a liniment for treating rheumatism and arthritis, whilst
a hot poultice is a traditional remedy for chilblains[7, 254]. An
infusion of the flowering shoots is used in the treatment of coughs,
colds, bladder and kidney disorders, cystitis etc[9, 238, 254]. A
cleansing and detoxifying plant, it has been used in the treatment of
rheumatism, arthritis and gout[254]. The flowering stems are harvested
in the autumn and dried for later use[7].
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for
prescribing it are 'Self-centredness' and 'Self-concern'[209].
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh branches[9]. It is used in
the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and insomnia[9].

Other Uses


Basketry; Besom; Dye; Fuel; Ground cover; Hedge; Insulation; Musical; Tannin; Thatching.


The branches have many uses, including in thatching, as a bedding or a
stuffing for mattresses, for insulation, basketry, rope making and for
making brooms[6, 7, 11, 46, 61, 66, 100, 254].
The dried branches are a good fuel[6, 66].
The rootstock can be made into musical pipes[254].
A yellow dye is obtained from the plant[7, 46, 61].
The bark is a source of tannin[46].
Heather can be grown as a low hedge and is quite useful as an edging to
beds. It is fairly amenable to trimming[29].
A useful ground cover plant for covering dry banks[188, 197]. The
cultivar 'White Lawn' has been recommended[188]. All except the very
dwarf cultivars will need trimming each spring in order to keep them
compact[208].

Cultivation details



Requires a light acid soil and a sunny position[138, 182]. Prefers a
sunny position but tolerates light shade[186]. Only succeeds if the pH
is below 6.5[186]. Prefers a poor peaty soil[11]. Plants are tolerant
of fairly dry soils but they dislike prolonged drought[186]. They
tolerate wet conditions in the winter[238].
Plants regenerate well from the base after a fire if the heat was not
too great, if the fire was slow and intense then new seedlings will
quickly become established[186].
Commonly grown in the ornamental garden, there are many named
varieties[200, 238].
The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to bees,
butterflies and moths[7, 11, 30]. This plant is also an important food
source for the caterpillars of many lepidoptera[30].

Propagation



Seed - sow as soon as it is ripe or in February in a shaded part of the
greenhouse[78, 113]. Surface sow or only just cover the seed[113, 138].
Cold stratification for 4 - 20 weeks aids germination[138]. The seed
usually germinates in 1 - 2 months at 20°c. When large enough to
handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on
in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out
into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after
the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood 4 - 5cm with a heel, July/August in a frame.
Good percentage[78].
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 5 - 7cm with a
heel, October/November in a frame. Good percentage[78].
Layering in autumn[78].
Division in spring. Dig up the plant 12 months prior to division and
replant it 15 - 30cm deeper in the soil in order to encourage rooting
along the stems. When ready to take the divisions, it is just a matter
of digging up the plant and cutting off sections of stem with roots on
them. These are best potted up and kept in a cold frame or greenhouse
until they are well rooted before planting them out in the summer or
following spring.

Cultivars


'White Lawn'
This cultivar has been recommended as a useful ground cover plant for covering dry banks[188, 197].



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:45




Betula pubescens -
Ehrh.


White Birch















AuthorEhrh.Botanical references11, 17, 200
FamilyBetulaceaeGenusBetula
SynonymsBetula alba - L. pro parte

Known HazardsNone known
RangeMost of Europe, including Britain, east to W. Siberia and central Asia.
HabitatOpen woodland and heaths, usually on acid soils, from sea level to 830 metres[1, 17, 100].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of evergreen tree
A decidious Tree growing to 20m by 10m at a fast rate.

It is hardy to zone 1. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen
from August to September. The flowers are monoecious (individual
flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the
same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soil.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry moist or wet soil.
The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.


Habitats


Woodland Garden; Canopy; Secondary; Sunny Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Flowers; Inner bark; Leaves; Sap.


Edible Uses: Tea.

Inner bark - cooked or dried, ground into a powder then used with
cereals for making bread etc[2, 15, 46]. Inner bark is generally only
seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not
available or are in short supply[177, K].
Sap - raw or cooked. A sweet flavour[2, 15, 177]. Harvested in early
spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. The flow is
best on sunny days following a heavy frost. The sap is often
concentrated into a sugar by boiling off the water. Between 4 and 7
litres can be drawn off a mature tree in a day and this will not kill
the tree so long as the tap hole is filled up afterwards[115]. However,
prolonged or heavy tapping will kill the tree. A beer can be fermented
from the sap. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:-
"To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr'd
together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little
Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm'd. When it is sufficiently boil'd,
and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make
it work...and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is
gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly
sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum."[269].
Young leaves - raw or cooked[15, 177].
Young catkins[15]. No more details are given.
A tea is made from the leaves[15] and another tea is made from the
essential oil in the inner bark[21].

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antirheumatic; Astringent; Bitter; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Lithontripic; Miscellany; Skin.


Anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, diaphoretic[21, 165, 201].
The bark is diuretic and laxative[7].
The inner bark is bitter and astringent, it is used in treating
intermittent fevers[4].
An oil obtained from the inner bark is astringent and is used in the
treatment of various skin afflictions, especially eczema and
psoriasis[4, 238]. The bark is usually obtained from trees that have
been felled for timber and can be distilled at any time of the
year[238].
The buds are balsamic[7]. The young shoots and leaves secrete a
resinous substance which has acid properties, when combined with
alkalis it is a tonic laxative[4].
The leaves are anticholesterolemic and diuretic[7]. They also contain
phytosides, which are effective germicides[7]. An infusion of the
leaves is used in the treatment of gout, dropsy and rheumatism, and is
recommended as a reliable solvent of kidney stones[4]. The young leaves
and leaf buds are harvested in the spring and dried for later use[238].
A decoction of the leaves and bark is used for bathing skin
eruptions[4].
The vernal sap is diuretic[4].
The boiled and powdered wood has been applied to chafed skin[257].
Moxa is made from the yellow fungous excrescences of the wood, which
sometimes swell out of the fissures[4].

Other Uses


Adhesive; Besom; Charcoal; Compost; Dye; Essential; Fibre; Fungicide; Paper; Pioneer; Polish; Repellent; Tannin; Thatching; Waterproofing; Wood.


The bark is used to make drinking vessels, canoe skins, roofing tiles
etc. It is waterproof, durable, tough and resinous[11, 61]. Only the
outer bark is removed, this does not kill the tree. It is most easily
removed in late spring to early summer. The bark was pressed flat and
stored until the following spring. When required for making canoes it
would be heated over a fire to make it pliable for shaping to the canoe
frame[257].
A pioneer species, it readily invades old fields, cleared or burnt-over
land and creates conditions suitable for other woodland trees to become
established. Since it is relatively short-lived and intolerant of
shade, it is eventually out-competed by these trees[11, 186].
A tar-oil is obtained from the white bark in spring. It has fungicidal
properties and is also used as an insect repellent[4, 14, 61, 100]. It
makes a good shoe polish[61]. Another report says that an essential oil
is obtained from the bark and this, called 'Russian Leather' has been
used as a perfume[245].
A glue is made from the sap.
Cordage can be made from the fibres of the inner bark. This inner bark
can also be separated into thin layers and used as a substitute for
oiled paper[4].
A decoction of the inner bark is used to preserve cordage, it is rich
in tannin. The bark contains up to 16% tannin[223].
A brown dye is obtained from the inner bark.
An oil similar to Wintergreen oil (obtained from Gaultheria procumbens)
is obtained from the inner bark[21, 61]. It is used medicinally and
also makes a refreshing tea[21].
The young branches are very flexible and are used to make whisks,
besoms etc[6]. They are also used in thatching and to make wattles[4].
The leaves are a good addition to the compost heap, improving
fermentation[20].
A black paint is obtained from the soot of the plant[61].
A high quality charcoal is obtained from the bark. It is used by
artists, painters etc.
Wood - soft, light, durable. It is used for a wide range of purposes
including furniture, tool handles, carving, toys etc[100, 238]. It is a
source of charcoal that is used by artists and is also pulped and used
for making paper[238].

Scented Plants


:

Cultivation details



Succeeds in a well-drained light loamy soil in a sunny position[11,
200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates a wet position[11, 24],
succeeding in poorly drained soils[186]. Fairly wind tolerant[200].
Prefers an acid soil.
A very ornamental tree and fast growing, capable of growing 1 metre a
year but it is short-lived[186]. It is one of the first trees to
colonize open land and it creates a suitable environment for other
woodland trees to follow[11]. These trees eventually shade out the
birch trees[186].
Trees take about 15 years from seed to produce their own seed[98].
Although closely related, it does not usually hybridize with B.
pendula[11]. It hybridizes freely with B. pendula according to another
report[186].
A superb tree for encouraging wildlife, it has over 200 associated
insect species[24, 30]. A good plant to grow near the compost heap,
aiding the fermentation process[14, 20]. It is also a good companion
plant, its root activity working to improve the soil[14].
Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].

Propagation



Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold
frame[78, 80, 113, 134]. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in
a sunny position[78, 80, 134]. Spring sown seed should be surface sown
in a sunny position in a cold frame[113, 134]. If the germination is
poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can
help[134]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings
out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least
their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in
late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed,
either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring - do not cover the
spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before
planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter[78, 80,
113, 134].



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:41




Betula pendula -
Roth.


Silver Birch














AuthorRoth.Botanical references11, 17, 200
FamilyBetulaceaeGenusBetula
SynonymsBetula alba - L. pro parte.

Betula alba pendula - Aiton.

Betula verrucosa - Ehrh.


Known HazardsNone known
RangeMost of Europe, including Britain, south and east to Morocco, W. Siberia and central Asia.
HabitatOpen woodland and heaths[17, 100]. Rarely found on chalk[17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of evergreen tree
A decidious Tree growing to 20m by 10m at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 2. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen
from July to August. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are
either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)
and are pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)
soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and
nutritionally poor soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow
in very acid soil.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil.
The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.


Habitats


Woodland Garden; Canopy; Secondary; Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Flowers; Inner bark; Leaves; Sap.


Edible Uses: Tea.

Inner bark - cooked or dried and ground into a meal[2, 15, 105]. It
can be added as a thickener to soups etc or can be mixed with flour for
making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a
famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are
in short supply[115, 177, K].
Sap - raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. It is harvested in early spring,
before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. It makes a pleasant
drink[115]. It is often concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the
water[2, 9, 13, 15, 177]. Between 4 and 7 litres can be drawn off a
mature tree in a day and this will not kill the tree so long as the tap
hole is filled up afterwards[115]. However, prolonged or heavy tapping
will kill the tree[115]. The flow is best on sunny days following a
frost. The sap can be fermented into a beer. An old English recipe for
the beer is as follows:-
"To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr'd
together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little
Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm'd. When it is sufficiently boil'd,
and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make
it work...and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is
gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly
sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum."[269].
Young leaves - raw or cooked[15].
Young catkins[15]. No more details are given.
A tea is made from the leaves[15, 161] and another tea is made from the
essential oil in the inner bark[21].

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anticholesterolemic; Antiinflammatory; Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Astringent; Bitter; Cholagogue; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Laxative; Lithontripic; Miscellany; Skin.


Anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, diaphoretic[21, 165, 201].
The bark is diuretic and laxative[7].
An oil obtained from the inner bark is astringent and is used in the
treatment of various skin afflictions, especially eczema and
psoriasis[4, 238]. The bark is usually obtained from trees that have
been felled for timber and can be distilled at any time of the
year[238].
The inner bark is bitter and astringent, it is used in treating
intermittent fevers[4].
The vernal sap is diuretic[4].
The buds are balsamic[7]. The young shoots and leaves secrete a
resinous substance which has acid properties, when combined with
alkalis it is a tonic laxative[4].
The leaves are anticholesterolemic and diuretic[7]. They also contain
phytosides, which are effective germicides[7]. An infusion of the
leaves is used in the treatment of gout, dropsy and rheumatism, and is
recommended as a reliable solvent of kidney stones[4]. The young leaves
and leaf buds are harvested in the spring and dried for later use[238].
A decoction of the leaves and bark is used for bathing skin
eruptions[4].
Moxa is made from the yellow fungous excrescences of the wood, which
sometimes swell out of the fissures[4].

Other Uses


Adhesive; Besom; Charcoal; Compost; Dye; Essential; Fibre; Fungicide; Hair; Paper; Pioneer; Polish; Repellent; Tannin; Thatching; Waterproofing; Wood.


The bark is used to make drinking vessels, canoe skins, roofing tiles
etc[115]. It is waterproof, durable, tough and resinous. Only the outer
bark is removed, this does not kill the tree. It is most easily removed
in late spring to early summer.
A pioneer species, it readily invades old fields, cleared or burnt-over
land and creates conditions suitable for other woodland trees to become
established. Since it is relatively short-lived and intolerant of
shade, it is eventually out-competed by these trees[17, 186].
A tar-oil is obtained from the white bark in spring. It has fungicidal
properties and is also used as an insect repellent[4, 13, 100]. It
makes a good shoe polish[61]. Another report says that an essential oil
is obtained from the bark and this, called 'Russian Leather' has been
used as a perfume[245].
A decoction of the inner bark is used to preserve cordage[115], it
contains up to 16% tannin[178, 223]. An oil similar to Wintergreen oil
(obtained from Gaultheria procumbens) is obtained from the inner
bark[21, 61]. It is used medicinally and also makes a refreshing
tea[21].
The resin glands (the report does not say where these glands are found)
are used to make a hair lotion[226].
A brown dye is obtained from the inner bark
A glue is made from the sap[2, 9, 13, 15]. Cordage can be made from the
fibres of the inner bark[115]. This inner bark can also be separated
into thin layers and used as a substitute for oiled paper[4].
The young branches are very flexible and are used to make whisks,
besoms etc[6]. They are also used in thatching[13, 100] and to make
wattles[4].
The leaves are a good addition to the compost heap, improving
fermentation[14].
Wood - soft, light, durable. It is used for a wide range of purposes
including furniture, tool handles, toys and carving[13, 100, 238]. A
high quality charcoal is obtained from the bark. It is used by artists,
painters etc[13]. The wood is also pulped and used for making
paper[238].

Scented Plants


:

Cultivation details



A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils including poor
ones[1, 24], sandy soils[188] and heavy clays. It prefers a
well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position[11, 200]. It is
occasionally found on calcareous soils in the wild but it generally
prefers a pH below 6.5, doing well on acid soils[186]. Fairly wind
tolerant[200] though it becomes wind shaped when exposed to strong
winds[K].
The silver birch is a very ornamental tree[1] with many named
varieties[11, 200]. It also has a very wide range of economic uses. It
is a fast growing tree, increasing by up to 1 metre a year, but is
short-lived[17, 200]. It is often one of the first trees to colonize
open land and it creates a suitable environment for other woodland
trees to follow[17]. These trees eventually out-compete and shade out
the birch trees[17, 186]. It makes an excellent nurse tree for seedling
trees, though its fine branches can cause damage to nearby trees when
blown into them by the wind.
Trees take about 15 years from seed to produce their own seed[98].
Although closely related, it does not usually hybridize with B.
pubescens[11]. It often hybridizes with B. pubescens according to
another report[186].
A superb tree for encouraging wildlife, it has 229 associated insect
species[24]. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the
fermentation process[14, 20]. It is also a good companion plant, its
root action working to improve the soil[14].
Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].

Propagation



Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold
frame[78, 80, 113, 134]. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in
a sunny position[78, 80, 134]. Spring sown seed should be surface sown
in a sunny position in a cold frame[113, 134]. If the germination is
poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can
help[134]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings
out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least
their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in
late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed,
either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring - do not cover the
spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before
planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter[78, 80,
113, 134].



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:39




Avena strigosa -
Schreb.


Bristle Oats















AuthorSchreb.Botanical references50
FamilyGramineaeGenusAvena
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeN. Europe. A casual in Britain[17].
HabitatDry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils[200].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Annual growing to 0.9m.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Habitats



Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

Seed - cooked[1, 50, 61, 177]. The seed ripens in the latter half of
summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It
has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be
used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed
can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and
used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a
porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can
also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc.
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses


Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.


The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch,
paper-making and thatching[171]. Some caution is advised in its use as
a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb
eelworm.


Cultivation details



Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[200]. Prefers a
poor dry soil[134].
Occasionally cultivated for its edible seed, especially in wetter and
cooler climates such as Wales, Scotland and Ireland[50, 61], it is
lower yielding than A. sativa and considered to be no more than a weed
in many areas[61]. The smallness of its grain renders it unfit for
cultivation in any but poor mountainous soils[2]. It could, however, be
of value in any breeding programme for the cultivated oats.
Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a
small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort
of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

Propagation



Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:37




Avena sativa -
L.


Oats















AuthorL.Botanical references17
FamilyGramineaeGenusAvena
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeN. Europe. A non-persistent relic of cultivation in Britain[17].
HabitatDry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils[200].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Annual growing to 0.9m by 0.1m.
It is hardy to zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.
The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)
soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and
nutritionally poor soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow
in very acid soil.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Habitats



Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil.

Seed - cooked[2, 34, 46, 177]. The seed ripens in the latter half of
summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It
has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be
used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. Used as a
cereal, it is probably best known as the breakfast cereal porridge but
it can also be used in many other ways. The seed can be sprouted and
used in salads[183], the grain can also be ground into a flour and used
in making biscuits, sourdough etc[183]. It is fairly low in gluten, and
so is not really suitable for making bread[269]. The seed is an
especially good food for convalescents and people with stomach
problems[13]. Oat flour produced in the dry-milling operation currently
is used as an antioxidant in food products[269]. Oat flour inhibits
rancidity and increases the length of shelf-stability of fatty foods
such as vegetable oils[269]. Whilst cultivated oats average about 17%
protein, scientists screening thousands of samples of cultivated and
wild species found that the wild species averaged 27% with some forms
ranging up to 37%[269].
Oats are also one of the cereals used as a basic ingredient for making
whisky[7].
Oats are harvested when grain is in the hard dough stage and straw is
slightly green (when the moisture content of the grain is 14% or less).
If too ripe, shattering causes seed loss. Crop is usually cut with
binder and left in the field until dry and then threshed. In mechanized
societies, oats are combined directly from standing grain. For this
type of harvesting, crop must be fully ripe, usually when the straw has
lost greenness and glumes have become white. Crop may be combined from
windrow, or cut with a header harvester when the crop is dead ripe.
Seeds are threshed and cleaned by winnowing, and artificially dried to
below 14% moisture for storage[269].
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[177, 183].
An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it is used in the manufacture
of breakfast cereals[61].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anticholesterolemic; Antispasmodic; Cancer; Cardiac; Diuretic; Emollient; Nervine; Nutritive; Poultice; Stimulant.


Whilst used mainly as a food, oat grain does also have medicinal
properties[238]. In particular oats are a nutritious food that gently
restores vigour after debilitating illnesses, helps lower cholesterol
levels in the blood and also increases stamina[254].
The seed is a mealy nutritive herb that is antispasmodic, cardiac,
diuretic, emollient, nervine and stimulant[4, 7, 21, 165]. The seed
contains the antitumor compound b-sitosterol and has been used as a
folk remedy for tumours[269]. A gruel made from the ground seed is used
as a mild nutritious aliment in inflammatory cases, fevers and after
parturition[4]. It should be avoided in cases of dyspepsia accompanied
with acidity of the stomach[4]. A tincture of the ground seed in
alcohol is useful as a nervine and uterine tonic[4]. A decoction
strained into a bath will help to soothe itchiness and eczema[254].
A poultice made from the ground seeds is used in the treatment of
eczema and dry skin[238].
When consumed regularly, oat germ reduces blood cholesterol
levels[238].
Oat straw and the grain are prescribed to treat general debility and a
wide range of nervous conditions[254. They are mildly antidepressant,
gently raising energy levels and supporting an over-stressed nervous
system[254]. They are of particular value in helping a person to cope
with the exhaustion that results from multiple sclerosis, chronic
neurological pain and insomnia[254]. Oats are thought to stimulate
sufficient nervous energy to help relieve insomnia[254].
An alcoholic extraction of oats has been reported to be a deterrent for
smoking, though reports that oat extract helped correct the tobacco
habit have been disproven[269].
A tincture of the plant has been used as a nerve stimulant and to treat
opium addiction.
In an article riddled with errors, the Globe (February 28, 1984)
reports that oat straw, usually taken as a tea, is a sexual nerve
tonic[269].

Other Uses


Biomass; Cosmetic; Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Repellent; Thatching.


The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch,
paper-making, building board and thatching[74, 141, 171]. It has also
been used as a stuffing material for mattresses and these are said to
be of great benefit for sufferers from rheumatism[7, 254]. Some caution
is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest
strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.
Oat hulls are basic in production of furfural, a chemical intermediate
in the production of many industrial products such as nylon,
lubricating oils, butadiene, phenolic resin glues, and rubber tread
compositions[269]. Oats hulls supply about 22% of the required furfural
raw materials. Rice hulls, corn cobs, bagasse, and beech woods make up
much of the remainder[269].
Oats hulls are also used in the manufacture of construction boards,
cellulose pulp and as a filter in breweries[269].
A handful of the grains, thrown into the bath water, will help to keep
the skin soft because of their emollient action[7].
An extract of oat straw prevents feeding by the striped cucumber
beetle[269].

Cultivation details



Oats are an easily grown crop that succeeds in any moderately fertile
soil in full sun[200]. They prefer a poor dry soil[134] and tolerate
cool moist conditions[13]. Plants are reported to tolerate an annual
precipitation of 20 to 180cm, an average annual temperature range of 5
to 26°C, and a pH of 4.5 to 8.6[269]. They thrive on a wide range of
soils of ample, but not excessive, fertility[269]. Well-drained neutral
soils in regions where annual rainfall is 77cm or more are best[269].
Loam soils are best, especially silt and clay loams[269]. The plants
are also reported to tolerate aluminium, disease, frost, fungus,
herbicides, hydrogen fluoride, mycobacterium, nematode, rust, SO2,
smut, and virus[269].
Oats have a long history of cultivation as a food crop and are believed
to be derived chiefly from two species, wild oat (A. fatua L.) and wild
red oat (A. sterilis L.)[269]. They are widely cultivated for their
seed, used as a source of protein, as well as for hay, as winter cover,
and are used as a pasture crop in the growing or 'milk' stage[269].
Oats are long-day plants, grown in cool climates in the Old and New
World temperate zones, succeeding under variable conditions[269]. Oats
usually are not very winter hardy, although winter hardy cvs have been
developed[269]. A very hardy plant according to another report, the
cultivated oat succeeds as far north as latitude 70°n[142] and is
widely cultivated in temperate zones for its edible seed, there are
many named varieties[183].
Although lower yielding than wheat (Triticum spp.), it is able to
withstand a wider range of climatic conditions and is therefore more
cultivated in cooler and wetter areas[13]. Hot dry weather just before
heading causes heads to blast and yields of seed to decrease[269].
Self-pollination is normal, but cross-pollination by wind also
occurs[269]. If you wish to save the seed for sowing, each variety
should be isolated about 180 metres away from other varieties[269].
Oats grow well with vetch but they inhibit the growth of apricot
trees[18, 201].
Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a
small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort
of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

Propagation



Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:35




Avena ludoviciana -
Durand.


Oats















AuthorDurand.Botanical references
FamilyGramineaeGenusAvena
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope - Mediterranean, to S.W. Asia. An introduced weed in Britain[17].
HabitatDry
wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier
soils[200]. A spreading weed in the Mediterranean where it is becoming
a pest[89].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics




Annual.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)
soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Habitats


Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses



Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

Seed - cooked[177]. The seed ripens in the latter half of summer
and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It has a
floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be used as a
staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed can be
cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and used
as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a
porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can
also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc.
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses



Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.


The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch,
paper-making and thatching[171]. Some caution is advised in its use as
a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb
eelworm.

Cultivation details



Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[200]. Prefers a
poor dry soil[134].
This species is a weed of cultivated land, its seeds are somewhat
smaller than the cultivated oats and the yields are rather lower.
Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a
small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort
of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.


Propagation



Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:29




Avena fatua -
L.


Wild Oats















AuthorL.Botanical references17
FamilyGramineaeGenusAvena
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope to Asia. Naturalized in Britain[17].
HabitatA common weed of arable land and waste ground[1, 57].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple icon 1 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Annual growing to 1.5m.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)
soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and
nutritionally poor soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow
in very acid soil.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Habitats



Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

Seed - cooked[2, 46, 61, 85, 95, 161]. The seed ripens in the latter
half of summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several
years. It has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It
can be used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes.
The seed can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a
flour and used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used,
especially as a porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread
etc. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads,
stews etc.
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Diuretic; Emollient; Refrigerant.


The seeds are diuretic, emollient and refrigerant[240].

Other Uses


Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.


The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch,
paper-making and thatching[171]. Some caution is advised in its use as
a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb
eelworm.

Cultivation details



Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[200]. Prefers a
poor dry soil[134]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 6.5.
A parent of the cultivated oat, A. sativa[57, 171] but the seeds are
somewhat smaller and yields lower. This species could be of importance
in breeding programmes for the cultivated oats (A. sativa), where it
could confer drought tolerance, disease resistance and higher yields.
Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a
small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort
of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

Propagation



Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:27




Avena byzantina -
K.Koch.


Red Oat















AuthorK.Koch.Botanical references50
FamilyGramineaeGenusAvena
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope - Mediterranean.
HabitatDry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils[200]. Mainly found on dry or saline soils[50].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics




Annual.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Habitats


Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses



Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

Seed - cooked[57, 105, 171, 183]. The seed ripens in the latter half
of summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years.
It has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be
used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed
can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and
used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a
porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can
also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc.
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses



Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.


The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch,
paper-making and thatching[171]. Some caution is advised in its use as
a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb
eelworm.

Cultivation details



We have very little information on this species, but it should be
possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual in Britain, and might also
succeed as an autumn-sown crop. A hexaploid species, one report says
that it is possibly a sub-species of A. sterilis, and is often
cultivated for its edible seed in warmer temperate zones[57], whilst
some modern works see it as no more than a synonym of A. sativa. This
species succeeds in saline soils[50]. It tolerates a pH in the range
5.3 to 8.2. The following notes are based on the general needs of the
genus.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[200].
Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a
small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort
of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.


Propagation



Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:25




Avena brevis -
Roth.















AuthorRoth.Botanical references50
FamilyGramineaeGenusAvena
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope - Russia to Mediterranean.
HabitatDry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils[200].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics




Annual.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated
by Wind.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)
soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Habitats


Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses



Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

Seed - cooked[57, 105, 171]. The seed ripens in the latter half of
summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It
has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be
used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed
can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and
used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a
porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can
also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc.
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses



Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.


The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch,
paper-making and thatching[171]. Some caution is advised in its use as
a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb
eelworm.

Cultivation details



We have very little information on this species, but it should be
possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual in Britain, and might also
succeed as an autumn-sown crop. A diploid species, it is of little
commercial importance[57] but is locally cultivated in sandy fields in
Europe for its edible seed[50]. It is often used in mountainous regions
because the seed ripens quickly[2]. A parent of the cultivated species
of oats[171]. Closely related to A. sativa, differing mainly in its
small spikelets and plumper lemmas[236]. The following notes are based
on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun[200].
Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a
small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort
of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.


Propagation



Seed - sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.



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Re: Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:23




Ammophila arenaria -
(L.)Link.


Marram Grass















Author(L.)Link.Botanical references17, 200
FamilyGramineaeGenusAmmophila
SynonymsAmmophila arundinacea - Host.

Psamma arenaria - (L.)Roem.&Schult.

Known HazardsNone known
RangeW. Europe, including Britain.
HabitatSand dunes by the coast[17].
Edibility Ratingapple icon 1 (1-5)Medicinal Rating 0 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics




icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 1.2m.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from July to August, and the
seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite
(have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soil.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


Habitats


Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Root.


Root[74]. No more details, but the root is rather thin and fibrous[K].

Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

Other Uses


Basketry; Broom; Fibre; Paper; Soil stabilization; Thatching; Weaving.


The flowering stems and leaves are used for thatching, in basketry,
making brooms etc[61, 66, 100].
The rhizomes are used for making rope and mats[115].
A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper[189]. The
stems are harvested in the summer, cut into usable pieces and soaked
for 24 hours in clear water before cooking for 2 hours with soda ash.
Beat the fibres in a ball mill for 1½ hours. The fibres make a
tan-brown paper[189].
This plant has an extensive root system and grows naturally in sand
dunes along the coast where it is very important for its action of
binding the dunes and therefore allowing other plants to grow. It is
much planted in sand dunes and other similar habitats for erosion
control[200].

Cultivation details



Requires a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Very tolerant
of severe maritime exposure[17]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 6.8.

Propagation



Seed - sow in pots outdoors as soon as it is ripe or sow in situ during March/April.
Division in spring or autumn.



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Thatching Materials

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 06:20






Acorus calamus -
L.


Sweet Flag















AuthorL.Botanical references200, 266
FamilyAraceaeGenusAcorus
Synonyms
Known Hazardswarning signThe
fresh root can be poisonous[7].
When using the plant medicinally, the isolated essential oil should not
be used[165]. The essential oil in the roots of some populations of
this plant contains the compound asarone. This has tranquillising and
antibiotic activity, but is also potentially toxic and
carcinogenic[218, 238]. It seems that these compounds are found in the
triploid form of the species (found in Asia) whilst the diploid form
(found in N. America and Siberia) is free of the compounds[218, 238].
However, the root (but not the isolated essential oil) has been used in
India for thousands of years without reports of cancer which suggests
that using the whole herb is completely safe, though more research is
needed[254].
RangeEurope, Asia and N. America. Naturalized in Britain[17].
HabitatFound in moist soils and shallow water in ditches, marshes, river edges and ponds[1, 100, 187, 244].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 4 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 1m by 1m.
It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May
to July, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are
hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by
Insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires wet soil and can grow in water.


Habitats



Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Stem.

Edible Uses: Condiment.

The rhizome is candied and made into a sweetmeat[2, 4, 13, 55, 62,
115, 183]. It can be peeled and washed to remove the bitterness and
then eaten raw like a fruit[106, 179]. It makes a palatable vegetable
when roasted[192] and can also be used as a flavouring[61]. Rich in
starch, the root contains about 1% of an essential oil that is used as
a food flavouring[1, 13, 57]. The root also contains a bitter
glycoside[179]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on
toxicity.
The dried and powdered rhizome has a spicy flavour and is used as a
substitute for ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg[4, 55, 142, 177, 183]. A
pinch of the powdered rhizome is used as a flovouring in tea[272].
The young and tender inflorescence is often eaten by children for its
sweetness[4].
Young leaves - cooked[55]. The fresh leaves contain 0.078% oxalic
acid[240]. The leaves can be used to flavour custards in the same way
as vanilla pods[244].
The inner portion of young stems is eaten raw[62]. It makes a very
palatable salad[183].


Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.
Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Abortifacient; Anodyne; Aphrodisiac; Aromatic; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Hallucinogenic; Homeopathy; Odontalgic; Sedative; Stimulant; Stomachic; Tonic; Vermifuge.


Sweet flag has a very long history of medicinal use in many herbal
traditions. It is widely employed in modern herbal medicine as an
aromatic stimulant and mild tonic[4]. In Ayurveda it is highly valued
as a rejuvenator for the brain and nervous system and as a remedy for
digestive disorders[254]. However, some care should be taken in its use
since some forms of the plant might be carcinogenic - see the notes
above on toxicity for more information.
The root is anodyne, aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic,
emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hallucinogenic, hypotensive,
sedative, stimulant, stomachic, mildly tonic and vermifuge[4, 7, 9, 21,
147, 165, 213, 240, 279]. It is used internally in the treatment of
digestive complaints, bronchitis, sinusitis etc[238]. It is said to
have wonderfully tonic powers of stimulating and normalizing the
appetite. In small doses it reduces stomach acidity whilst larger doses
increase stomach secretions[254] and it is, therefore, recommended in
the treatment of anorexia nervosa[244]. However if the dose is too
large it will cause nausea and vomiting[K]. Sweet flag is also used
externally to treat skin eruptions, rheumatic pains and neuralgia[238].
An infusion of the root can bring about an abortion[213] whilst chewing
the root alleviates toothache[213]. It is a folk remedy for arthritis,
cancer, convulsions, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, epilepsy etc. Chewing the
root is said to kill the taste for tobacco[218]. Roots 2 - 3 years old
are used since older roots tend to become tough and hollow[4]. They are
harvested in late autumn or early spring and are dried for later
use[4]. The dry root loses 70% of its weight, but has an improved smell
and taste[244]. It does, however, deteriorate if stored for too
long[244].
Caution is advised on the use of this root, especially in the form of
the distilled essential oil, since large doses can cause mild
hallucinations[192]. See also the notes above on toxicity.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the roots[9]. It is used in the
treatment of flatulence, dyspepsia, anorexia and disorders of the gall
bladder[9].

Other Uses


Basketry; Incense; Insecticide; Repellent; Strewing; Thatching; Weaving.


The leaves are used in basket making or woven into mats[169]. They have
also been used as a thatch for roofs[4].
An essential oil from the rhizome is used in perfumery and as a food
flavouring[1, 13, 57]. The oil is contained mainly in the outer skin of
the root[245], it has a fragrance reminiscent of patchouli oil[192].
The fresh roots yield about 1.5 - 3.5% essential oil, dried roots about
0.8%[4, 240]. Some plants from Japan have yielded 5% essential oil[4].
The essential oil is also an insect repellent and insecticide[218,
272]. It is effective against houseflies[240]. When added to rice being
stored in granaries it has significantly reduced loss caused by insect
damage because the oil in the root has sterilized the male rice
weevils[244].
An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used in perfumery and for
making aromatic vinegars[245].
The leaves and the root have a refreshing scent of cinnamon[245]. All
parts of plant can be dried and used to repel insects or to scent linen
cupboards[8, 14, 61]. They can also be burnt as an incense[14], whilst
the whole plant was formerly used as a strewing herb[4, 14, 115, 238].
The growing plant is said to repel mosquitoes[20, 201].

Scented Plants


Leaves: Crushed
A refreshing scent of cinnamon.
Root: Crushed
The root has a refreshing scent of cinnamon.

Cultivation details



Prefers growing in shallow water or in a very moist loamy soil[200].
Requires a sunny position[200]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 7.5.
Plants are hardy to about -25°c[187].
The sweet flag has a long history of use as a medicinal and culinary
plant. It has been cultivated for this purpose but was more commonly
allowed to naturalize and was then harvested from the wild.
The plant seldom flowers or sets seed in Britain and never does so
unless it is growing in water[4]. It can spread quite freely at the
roots however and soon becomes established.

Propagation



Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stand the pot
in about 3cm of water. Pot up young seedlings as soon as they are large
enough to handle, keep them wet by standing the pots in shallow water
and overwinter for the first year in a greenhouse or cold frame. Seed
is rarely produced in Britain[4, 17].
Division in spring just before growth starts[1]. Very easy, it can be
carried out successfully at any time in the growing season and can be
planted direct into its permanent positions[K]


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