Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:58




Ribes nigrum -
L.


Blackcurrant



AuthorL.
Botanical references11, 17, 200

FamilyGrossulariaceae
GenusRibes
SynonymsRibes pauciflorum - Turcz.


Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to France, Bulgaria, N. and C. Asia.

HabitatHedges and woodlands, often by streams[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 shrub
A decidious Shrub growing to 1.8m.

It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf from March
to November, in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from July
to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female
organs) and are pollinated by Bees.
The plant is self-fertile.

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.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist soil.


Habitats


Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; North Wall By; East Wall By;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Edible Uses: Tea.


Fruit - raw or cooked. An excellent aromatic flavour[K]. The fully
ripe fruit is very acceptable raw, though it is more often cooked and
used to make pies, jams etc[1, 2, 5, 9, 34]. Very rich in vitamin
C[244]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[200], though selected
cultivars have larger fruits[K].
The leaves are used in soups[183].
The dried leaves are a tea substitute[74, 177, 183]. They are sometimes
added to blended herb teas[238].

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.

Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Miscellany.


Blackcurrant fruits are a good source of minerals and vitamins,
especially vitamin C. They have diuretic and diaphoretic actions, help
to increase bodily resistance to infections and are a valuable remedy
for treating colds and flu[4, 254]. The juice, especially when fresh or
vacuum-sealed, helps to stem diarrhoea and calms indigestion[4, 254].
The leaves are cleansing, diaphoretic and diuretic[4, 9]. By
encouraging the elimination of fluids they help to reduce blood volume
and thereby lower blood pressure[254]. An infusion is used in the
treatment of dropsy, rheumatic pain and whooping cough, and can also be
used externally on slow-healing cuts and abscesses[9].It can be used as
a gargle for sore throats and mouth ulcers[254]. The leaves are
harvested during the growing season and can be used fresh or
dried[238].
It is believed that an infusion of the leaves increases the secretion
of cortisol by the adrenal glands, and thus stimulates the activity of
the sympathetic nervous system[254]. This action may prove useful in
the treatment of stress-related conditions[254].
An infusion of the young roots is useful in the treatment of eruptive
fevers[4].
A decoction of the bark has been found of use in the treatment of
calculus, dropsy and haemorrhoidal tumours[4].
The seed is a source of gamma-linolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid
which assists the production of hormone-like substances[238]. This
process is commonly blocked in the body, causing disorders that affect
the uterine muscles, nervous system and metabolism[238]. We have no
records of the oil from this species being used medicinally, though it
is used in cosmetic preparations[238, K].


Other Uses


Cosmetic; Dye; Preservative.


The oil from the seed is added to skin preparations and cosmetics. It
is often combined with vitamin E to prevent oxidation[238].
A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves[100].
A blue or violet dye is obtained from the fruit[100].
The leaves are used for vegetable preservation[74]. No more details.

Cultivation details



Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at
least moderate quality[11, 200]. Best grown on a deep sandy loam[1].
Dislikes very heavy clay, chalky soils and thin dry soils, but it can
succeed on most soil types if plenty of organic matter is
incorporated[1]. Plants require plenty of nitrogen if they are to do
well[200]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.7 to 7 and is intolerant of acid
soils[200]. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so
well in such a position[11]. Plants fruit less freely when grown in
windy sites[200].
The plant is hardy to about -20°c, though flowers are damaged at
-1°c[200].
Blackcurrants are widely cultivated in temperate areas for their edible
fruit, there are many named varieties[183, 200]. Most fruit is produced
on one year old wood. Pruning usually consists of removing about a
third of all the stems from just above ground level in the autumn. The
oldest stems with least new growth are removed since these will be the
poorest fruiters. The plant is able to make new growth from the base of
the removed stems and, if the plants are well fed, this growth is very
vigorous and will fruit heavily the following year. The flowers can
self-fertilize but many cultivars fruit better with insect
pollination[200].
Plants can harbour a stage of 'white pine blister rust', so they should
not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees[155]. Plants in this genus
are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].


Propagation



Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame.
Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at between 0 and 5°c
and should be sown as early in the year as possible[113, 164]. Under
normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or
more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large
enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first
winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, July/August in a
frame[78, 113].
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, preferably with a
heel of the previous year's growth, November to February in a cold
frame or sheltered bed outdoors[78, 200].

Cultivars


'Amos Black'

'Ben Alder'

'Ben Lomand'
A vigorous upright bush, it is usually free from foliage-damaging
insects[183]. One of the highest-yielding blackcurrants and also one of
the least prone to mildew[183].
'Ben More'

'Ben Sarek'
A large black fruit of good quality[183].
A small compact bush, it is highly productive[183]. Resistant to frost and mildew[183].
'Ben Tirran'

'Cotswold Cross'

'Wellington XXX'
A medium to large fruit, the skin is thick but tender, the flavour
subacid, somewhat sweet when fully ripe[183]. Ripens early
mid-season[183]. The berries do not hang well on the bush and often
split[183].
A large very vigorous and productive spreading bush[183].



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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:51




Lythrum salicaria -
L.


Purple Loosestrife



AuthorL.
Botanical references17, 200

FamilyLythraceae
GenusLythrum
Synonyms

Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope, including Britain, south to N. Africa east to western and northern Asia. N. America..
HabitatReed swamps at the margins of lakes and slow-flowing rivers, fens and marshes, avoiding acid soils[17].

Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)
Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 1m by 0.5m.
It is hardy to zone 3. 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 Bees, flies.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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.
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; Root.

Edible Uses: Colouring.


Leaves - cooked[13, 46, 61, 105]. Rich in calcium[179].
Root - cooked[13].
An edible dye is obtained from the flowers[13].

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.

Antibiotic; Astringent; Hypoglycaemic; Styptic; Vulnerary.

Purple loosestrife is an astringent herb that is mainly employed as
a treatment for diarrhoea and dysentery. It can be safely taken by
people of all ages and has been used to help arrest diarrhoea in
breast-feeding babies[254]. It can also be used to treat heavy periods
and inter-menstrual bleeding[254]. Modern research has shown the whole
plant to be antibiotic and to be particularly effective against the
micro-organism that causes typhus[254].
The flowering plant is antibiotic, highly astringent, hypoglycaemic,
styptic and vulnerary[4, 7, 9, 21, 152, 218, 238]. It is valued as an
intestinal disinfectant, especially in cases of enteritis[7], an
infusion is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, internal
bleeding, excessive menstruation etc[9, 222, 238]. The flowering plant
is harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried[9].
Externally, the plant is used as a cleansing and healing wash for
wounds, sores, impetigo, eczema, excess vaginal discharge, vaginal
itching etc[7, 222, 238, 254]. The powdered plant is used as a
haemostatic in cases of severe nosebleeds[7].
The stems are regarded as gum stimulators and are given to children to
chew in order to strengthen weak or bleeding gums[7].

Other Uses


Cosmetic; Dye; Preservative; Tannin; Teeth.


A decoction of the plant is impregnated into wood, rope etc to prevent
it rotting in water[74]. The leaves contain about 12% tannin, the stems
10.5%, the flowers 13.7% and the roots 8.5%[218]. It is probably these
tannins that preserve the wood etc[218].
The powdered plant is used cosmetically in face-packs to counteract
reddened skin[7].

Cultivation details



Succeeds in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is damp[1]. Prefers
a neutral to alkaline soil[238]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Grows
well in marshy soils[24] and succeeds in shallow water at the edges of
ponds[56]. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade[188].
A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least
-25°c[187].
This species can be very invasive and has been declared a noxious weed
in some countries. Since being introduced in N. America it has invaded
native marshlands, florming large areas of dense stands and crowding
out many native species[274].
A very ornamental plant[1]. A good bee and butterfly plant[24].
Plants usually self-sow when well sited[200].

Propagation



Seed - sow in the autumn or the spring in a cold frame. When they are
large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots
and plant them out in the summer.
If you have sufficient seed it could be worthwhile trying a sowing in
situ in the autumn or the spring.
Division in March or October[188]. 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.
Basal cuttings in the spring[238]. Harvest the shoots with plenty of
underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot
them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold
frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the
summer.



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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:48




Isatis tinctoria -
L.


Woad



AuthorL.
Botanical references17, 200

FamilyCruciferae
GenusIsatis
SynonymsIsatis indigotica - Fortune.


Known HazardsNone known
RangeC. and S. Europe. Naturalized in S. and C. England.

HabitatCliffs and cornfields, often on chalky soils[17, 200].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)
Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Biennial/Perennial growing to 1m by 0.45m.

It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. 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 Insects.

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 soil.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist soil.


Habitats


Cultivated Beds; East Wall In; South Wall In; West Wall In;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves.


Leaves - they require long soaking in order to remove a bitterness, and even then they are still bitter[177, 179].
There is no record of the seeds being edible, but they contain 12 - 34% protein and 12 - 38% fat on a zero moisture basis[218].

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.

Antibacterial; Antiviral; Astringent; Cancer.

Woad has rather a mixed press for its medicinal virtues. One author
says it is so astringent that it is not fit to be used internally - it
is only used externally as a plaster applied to the region of the
spleen and as an ointment for ulcers, inflammation and to staunch
bleeding[4]. However, it is widely used internally in Chinese herbal
medicine where high doses are often employed in order to maintain high
levels of active ingredients[238].
The leaves are antibacterial, anticancer, antiviral, astringent and
febrifuge[148, 176, 218, 238]. It controls a wide range of pathogenic
organisms, including viruses[218, 238]. It is used internally in the
treatment of a wide range of disorders, including meningitis,
encephalitis, mumps, influenza, erysipelas, heat rash etc[238]. The
leaves are harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried[238].
They are also macerated and the blue pigment extracted. This is also
used medicinally, particularly in the treatment of high fevers and
convulsions in children, coughing of blood and as a detoxifier in
infections such as mumps[238].
The root is antibacterial and anticancer[176]. It is used in the
treatment of fevers, pyogenic inflammation in influenza and meningitis,
macula in acute infectious diseases, erysipelas, mumps and epidemic
parotitis[176]. Its antibacterial action is effective against Bacillus
subtilis, haemolytic streptococcus,, C. diphtheriae, E. coli, Bacillus
typhi, B. paratyphi, Shigella dysenteriae, S. flexneri and Salmonella
enteritidis[176].
Both the leaves and the roots are used in the treatment of
pneumonia[218].
The root and the whole plant have anticancer properties whilst extracts
of the plant have shown bactericidal properties[218].

Other Uses


Dye; Preservative.


Woad is historically famous as a dye plant, having been used as a body
paint by the ancient Britons prior to the invasion of the Romans[238].
A blue dye is obtained from the leaves by a complex process that
involves fermenting the leaves and produces a foul stench[6, 14, 46,
57, 100, 238]. The dye is rarely used nowadays, having been replaced
first by the tropical Indigofera tinctoria and more recently by
synthetic substitutes[238]. Nevertheless, it is a very good quality dye
that still finds some use amongst artists etc who want to work with
natural dyes. A very good quality green is obtained by mixing it with
Dyer's greenwood (Genista tinctoria)[238]. Woad is also used to improve
the colour and quality of indigo, as well as to form a base for black
dyes[244]. The leaves are harvested when fully grown and 3 - 4 harvests
can be made in total[244].
Recent research in Germany has shown that (the dyestuff in?) this plant
is a very good preservative for wood[Radio 4 Farming programme].

Cultivation details



An easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a
sunny position[14], though it succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1].
Prefers neutral to alkaline conditions[238]. Plants deplete the soil of
nutrients and cannot be grown successfully on the same site for more
than two years[4].
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200].
Woad is a biennial, or occasionally a short-lived perennial plant. It
has a very long history as a dye plant, being used by the ancient
Britons to give a blue colouring to the skin. At one time woad was
widely cultivated for this blue dye obtained from its leaves but with
the advent of chemical dyes it has fallen into virtual disuse[4]. It is
currently (1993) being grown commercially on a small scale in Germany
as a wood preservative (An item on BBC's Radio 4 Farming Programme).
Plants self-sow freely when they are grown in a suitable position[14],
though they tend not to thrive if grown in the same position for more
than two years[238].

Propagation



Seed - sow spring in situ. Fresh seed can also be sown in situ in late
summer, it will take 20 months to flower but will produce more
leaves[169].



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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:41




Eupatorium cannabinum -
L.


Hemp Agrimony



AuthorL.
Botanical references17, 200

FamilyCompositae
GenusEupatorium
Synonyms

Known HazardsNone known
RangeMost of Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa, western and central Asia.
HabitatBy streams, in low damp sites and in woods, avoiding acid soils[7, 13].

Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)
Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 1.5m by 1m.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The
flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are
pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, Lepidoptera (Moths &
Butterflies).
The plant is self-fertile.
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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist or wet soil.



Habitats


Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; 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.

Alterative; Antitumor; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emetic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Laxative; Purgative; Tonic.


Hemp agrimony has been employed chiefly as a detoxifying herb for
fevers, colds, flu and other viral conditions. It also stimulates the
removal of waste products via the kidneys[254]. Due to its content of
alkaloids, the plant should only be used under professional
supervision[254].
The leaves and flowering tops are alterative, cholagogue, depurative,
diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, purgative and tonic[4, 7, 9,
21, 46, 238]. The plant has a long history of use as a gentle laxative
that does not provoke irritation[7], though excessive doses cause
purging and vomiting[238]. A tea made from the dried leaves will give
prompt relief if taken at the onset of influenza[4]. Recent research
has shown that the plant might have anti-tumour activity, though the
plant also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause damage or
cancer to the liver[238]. The plant is harvested in the summer and
dried for later use[7].
The roots are diaphoretic, laxative and tonic[7]. They are harvested in
the autumn and dried for later use[238].
Recently the plant has been found of use as an immune system stimulant,
helping to maintain resistance to acute viral and other
infections[254].
A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves[4]. It is used in the
treatment of influenza and feverish chills[4] and also for disorders of
the liver, spleen and gall bladder[9].

Other Uses


Preservative; Repellent.


The leaves have been laid on bread in order to prevent it from becoming mouldy[4].
The leaf juice has been rubbed onto the coats of animals as an insect repellent[7].

Scented Plants


Plant: Crushed
All parts of the plant have a strong resinous smell when bruised. This has been likened to the smell of cedar when it is burnt.

Cultivation details



An easily grown plant[233], it succeeds in ordinary garden soil in sun
or part shade[200]. Prefers a rich moist soil[187]. Grows well in
marshy soils[21].
Plants are hardy to about -25°c[187].
A very ornamental plant[1], it has a pleasant aromatic smell when
cut[4]. Often found as a weed in British gardens, it can be allowed to
naturalize in short grass in the wild garden[233].
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233].
An excellent bee and butterfly plant[24, 108].

Propagation



Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick
out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to
handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ.
Division in spring or autumn[111]. Very easy, the clumps can be
replanted direct into their permanent positions.



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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:36




Digitalis purpurea
L.


Foxglove















AuthorL.Botanical references17, 200
FamilyScrophulariaceaeGenusDigitalis
Synonyms
Known Hazardswarning signAll parts of the plant are highly poisonous[9, 10, 19, 65, 76, 222].
RangeWestern Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain and Sardinia.
HabitatAcid soils in woods, heaths, mountain grasslands etc[9, 17].
Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 4 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Biennial growing to 1.2m by 0.6m.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The
flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are
pollinated by Bees.
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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires dry or moist soil.


Habitats



Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

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.

Cardiac; Diuretic; Homeopathy; Stimulant; Tonic.


The foxglove is a widely used herbal medicine with a recognised
stimulatory effect upon the heart. It is also used in allopathic
medicine in the treatment of heart complaints. It has a profound tonic
effect upon a diseased heart, enabling the heart to beat more slowly,
powerfully and regularly without requiring more oxygen[254]. At the
same time it stimulates the flow of urine which lowers the volume of
the blood and lessens the load on the heart[254]. The plant contains
cardiac glycosides (including digoxin, digitoxin and lanatosides).
Digitoxin rapidly strengthens the heartbeat but is excreted very
slowly. Digoxin is therefore preferred as a long-term medication[254].
The leaves are cardiac, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[4, 9, 21, 46,
171]. The leaves should only be harvested from plants in their second
year of growth, picked when the flowering spike has grown and about two
thirds of the flowers have opened[4]. Harvested at other times, there
is less of the medically active alkaloid present[4]. The seed has also
been used in the past[4]. The leaves also have a very beneficial effect
on the kidneys, they are strongly diuretic and are used with benefit in
the treatment of dropsy[4]. Great care should be exercised in the use
of this plant, the therapeutic dose is very close to the lethal
dose[222]. See also the notes above on toxicity.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves[9]. It is used in the
treatment of cardiac disorders[9].

Other Uses


Dye; Preservative.


An infusion of the plant prolongs the life of cut flowers[54]. Root crops growing near this plant store better[54].
An apple-green dye is obtained from the flowers[168].

Cultivation details



Easily grown in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in
organic matter[1]. Prefers a light dry soil in semi-shade[17] but
succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist[200]. Grows well in acid
soils[17].
Plants are hardy to about -25°c[187].
The foxglove is a very ornamental plant that is easily naturalized in
the semi-shade of a woodland[1]. It contains glycosides and forms the
basis of an important heart medicine for which it is cultivated
commercially[4]. This species is commonly used by herbalists, whereas
D. lanata is more commonly grown for supplying the pharmaceutical
industry[238]. The plant contains much greater concentrations of the
medically active ingredients when it is grown in a sunny position[115].
The flowers are very attractive to bees[4, 24]. Individual plants can
produce up to 2 million seeds[4].
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or
rabbits[233].
A good companion plant, it stimulates the growth of nearby plants,
growing well with pine trees[18, 20, 54].


Propagation



Seed - surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually
germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 20°c[175]. When they are large enough to
handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out
in the summer.
If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ in the
spring or autumn.





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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:34




Digitalis lutea -
L.


Yellow Foxglove















AuthorL.Botanical references200
FamilyScrophulariaceaeGenusDigitalis
Synonyms
Known Hazardswarning signAll
parts of the plant are poisonous[7, 65]. The plant is less dangerous
that the common foxglove (D. purpurea) since its effects are not
cumulative[7].
RangeEurope.
HabitatWoodlands, hedgerows and uncultivated fields on siliceous soils[7].
Edibility Rating 0 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 4 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 0.6m by 0.3m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower in July. The flowers are
hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by
Bees.

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 dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Habitats



Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

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.

Cardiac; Diuretic; Stimulant; Tonic.


Yellow foxglove is little used in herbal medicine but is in fact a
less toxic alternative to the purple and woolly foxgloves (D. purpurea
and D. lanata) which are widely used in the treatment of heart
complaints[254]. The yellow foxglove has similar medical actions, but
its alkaloids are more readily metabolized and flushed out of the
body[254].
The leaves are cardiac, strongly diuretic, stimulant and tonic[7, 9,
46, 61]. They are used in the treatment of a weakened or failing heart,
increasing the strength of contraction, slowing and steadying the heart
rate and lowering blood pressure by strongly stimulating the flow of
urine - which reduces overall blood volume[254]. The leaves of plants
in their second year of growth are harvested in the summer and dried
for later use[7]. This remedy should be used with caution and only
under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can
prove fatal[7, 254]. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses


Preservative.


An infusion of the plant added to the water in the vase will prolong
the life of cut flowers[54]. When grown near root crops the roots will
store better[54].

Cultivation details



An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, especially
if it is rich in organic matter[1]. It also succeeds in dry soils and,
once established, is drought tolerant[188, 190]. It prefers semi-shade
but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist[188, 200].
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or
rabbits[233].
The yellow foxglove is a good companion plant, stimulating the growth
of nearby plants[54]. Root crops grown near to this plant will store
better[54].

Propagation



Seed - surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually
germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 20°c[175]. When they are large enough to
handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out
in the summer


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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:33




Descurainia sophia -
(L.)Webb. ex Prantl.


Flixweed















Author(L.)Webb. ex Prantl.Botanical references17, 60
FamilyCruciferaeGenusDescurainia
SynonymsSisymbrium sophia - L.

Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope to Asia. Possibly native to Britain[17].
HabitatWaste ground and roadsides[17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Annual/Biennial growing to 0.9m.

It is hardy to zone 0. 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 Self.
The plant is self-fertile.

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 soil.


Habitats


Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Condiment.


Young leaves and shoots - cooked[105, 272]. A bitter flavour[85].
Used as a potherb[183, 257].
Seed - raw or cooked[46]. A pungent taste, it is used as a mustard
substitute[61, 74, 105, 183]. The seed can be ground into a powder,
mixed with cornmeal and used to make bread, or as a thickening for
soups etc[61, 85, 183]. It can also be sprouted and added to salads
etc[183]. A nourishing and cooling beverage can be made by mixing the
ground up seeds with water to make a thin batter[257]. The seed
contains 25.5 - 29.9% protein, 26.9 - 39.7% fat and 3.6 - 3.9% ash on a
zero moisture basis[218].

Composition


Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Seed (Dry weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water: 0%
  • Protein: 27.5g; Fat: 33g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 3.7g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [218]
  • Notes: The figures given here are median figures of a range that was given in the report.

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.

Antiasthmatic; Antiscorbutic; Antitussive; Astringent; Cardiotonic; Demulcent; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Laxative; Poultice; Vermifuge.


A poultice of the plant has been used to ease the pain of
toothache[257].
The juice of the plant has been used in the treatment of chronic
coughs, hoarseness and ulcerated sore throats[4]. A strong decoction of
the plant has proved excellent in the treatment of asthma[4].
The flowers and the leaves are antiscorbutic and astringent[218, 240].
The seed is considered to be cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic,
expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, restorative and tonic[218, 240]. It
is used in the treatment of asthma, fevers, bronchitis, oedema and
dysentery[176, 240]. It is also used in the treatment of worms and
calculus complaints[240]. It is decocted with other herbs for treating
various ailments[218]. The seeds have formed a special remedy for
sciatica[4].
A poultice of the ground up seeds has been used on burns and sores[257].

Other Uses


Preservative.


A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed[240]. Yields are not given[K].
The leaves have been stored with corn to prevent it from going bad[257].

Cultivation details



We have very little information on the needs of this species but,
judging by its habitat it should succeed in most soils in a fairly
sunny position.

Propagation



Seed - sow spring in situ.



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Re: Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:31




Acer pseudoplatanus -
L.


Sycamore















AuthorL.Botanical references11, 200
FamilyAceraceaeGenusAcer
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope. Extensively naturalized in Britain[17].
HabitatFound in woodland, hedgerows etc. in Britain, in all but very poor soils[17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple icon 1 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of evergreen tree
A decidious Tree growing to 30m by 15m at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from April to June, and the
seeds ripen from September to October. 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 Bees.
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.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist soil.
The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


Habitats



Woodland Garden; Canopy;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves; Sap; Seedpod.

Edible Uses: Sweetener.

The sap contains sugar and can be used as a drink or be concentrated
into a syrup by boiling off the water[183]. The syrup is used as a
sweetener on many foods. It can be harvested in late winter but is not
produced in economic quantities[2, 4, 13, 105]. About 25 grams of sugar
is obtained from a litre of the sap[4]. The sap can also be used to
make a wine[183]. The flow is best on warm sunny days following a
frost. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with
continental climates.
The keys of the developing seeds have a sweet exudation on them and
this is often sucked by children[183].
The leaves can be wrapped round food such as buns when baking them and
they impart a sweet flavour[66].


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; Vulnerary.


The bark has mild astringent properties and has been used to make a wash for skin problems and an eyewash for sore eyes[21].
The inner bark of the tree, containing the sweet sap, can be used as a dressing for wounds[21].

Other Uses


Charcoal; Fuel; Pioneer; Preservative; Shelterbelt; Wood.


The trees are fast-growing and make a good windbreak for exposed and
maritime areas[11, 200]. They are often used in shelterbelt
plantings[200]. This species usually self-sows freely and is often the
first tree to invade disused farmland, cleared woodland etc. Its
ability to tolerate difficult environments make it a good pioneer
species for re-establishing woodlands. When grown in Britain it is
usually gradually displaced over a period of 200 years or more by
native species until it becomes just a minor component of the
woodland[K].
The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve
them[18, 20].
Wood - very hard, heavy, elastic, easy to work, fairly resistant to
insects. Used for carving, small domestic items, veneer etc[4, 13, 46,
171]. It is a good fuel and also makes a good charcoal that can be used
as a fuel[115].

Cultivation details



Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil and a
sunny position[11, 17], but tolerates most conditions including poor
soils and some shade[13, 17, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils.
Chlorosis can sometimes develop as a result of iron deficiency when the
plants are grown in alkaline soils, but in general maples are not fussy
as to soil pH. Dislikes wet soils[115]. Grows better in the cooler
areas of the country[11]. Very wind-resistant, tolerating maritime
exposure though it is often wind and salt pruned in very exposed
areas[4, 11, 17].
A fairly aggressive tree, it self-sows freely and inhibits the growth
of nearby plants[18, 20]. It is often one of the first trees to
colonize open land. It is fast growing and establishes rapidly. It can
supplant native trees, at least in the short-term, though recent
evidence suggests that in the long term it does not usually become the
dominant tree in British woodlands and it is often recommended for
planting in broad-leaved woods by the Forestry Commission, especially
in windy areas[K].
Plants are subject to sooty bark disease - this is not fatal and occurs
most often in years that follow hot summers[11].
There are many named forms that have been selected for their ornamental
value[200].
Trees take 25 years to come into bearing from seed[98].

Propagation



Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually
germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours
and then stratify for 2 - 4 months at 1 - 8°c. It can be slow to
germinate. Seed should not be dried below 35% moisture[98]. The seed
can be harvested 'green' (when it has fully developed but before it has
dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It
should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it
will produce very weak plants or no plants at all[80, 113]. When large
enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow
them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in
their permanent positions.
Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species
in this genus.
Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 -
3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very
thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a
rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth
during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to
survive the winter.
Cultivars can be budded onto rootstocks of the species. Any grafting is
best carried out in September rather than February.

Cultivars


There are many 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


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Preservative: For food, or for treating wood, cordage

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 12:30






Acer campestre -
L.


Field Maple















AuthorL.Botanical references11, 17, 200
FamilyAceraceaeGenusAcer
Synonyms
Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope, including Britain, from Sweden to Spain and east to western Asia and the Caucasus.
HabitatOpen deciduous woods, hedgerows and scrub, usually on basic soils[17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)Medicinal Ratingapple icon 1 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of evergreen tree
A decidious Tree growing to 15m at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May
to June, and the seeds ripen from September to October. 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 Insects.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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 very alkaline soil.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.
It requires moist soil.
The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.


Habitats



Woodland Garden; Secondary; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses


The sap contains a certain amount of sugar and can either be used as
a drink, or can be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the
water[4]. The concentration of sugar is considerably lower than in the
sugar maples (A. saccharum). The syrup is used as a sweetener on many
foods. The tree trunk is tapped in the early spring, the sap flowing
better on warm sunny days following a frost. The best sap production
comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates.

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; Astringent.


The bark is astringent and slightly anticholesterolemic[7]. A decoction
has been used to bathe sore eyes[7]. The bark should be sun-dried and
then stored in a dry place until required[7].

Other Uses



Charcoal; Fuel; Hedge; Preservative; Wood.


The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve
them[18, 20].
A fast growing plant and bearing clipping well, it makes an excellent
clipped hedge and can also be used as part of a native wildlife hedge
where it is only trimmed every 3 - 4 years[200, K]. It has also been
used in topiary[200].
Wood - fine-grained, tough, elastic, hard to split, takes a high polish
and is seldom attacked by insects. Trees are seldom large enough to
supply much usable timber, but when available it is much valued by
cabinet makers[4, 7, 13, 46, 115]. It is also used for cups bowls
etc[115]. The wood of the roots is often knotted and is valued for
small objects of cabinet work[4]. The wood is an excellent fuel[4]. A
charcoal made from the wood is a good fuel[4, 115].

Cultivation details



Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil[11] in a
sunny position but tolerates some shade[11, 200]. Does well on chalky
soils, tolerating a pH as high as 8, but becoming a shrub in such
conditions[186]. Does not thrive in soils with a pH much below 6[186].
Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[200].
Growth is fast once the trees are established, but this later slows
down and trees take about 50 years to reach maturity[186].
Frequently found as a shrub in light woodland, especially under oak. It
is one of the first trees to colonize chalk grassland[186].
The field maple is a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of
nearby plants[18, 20].
A good bee plant[7]. This species has often been coppiced in the past
for its wood[17]. Trees produce seed in about 10 years from sowing[98].

Propagation



Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually
germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours
and then stratify for 2 - 4 months at 1 - 8°c. It can be slow to
germinate. The seed can be harvested 'green' (when it has fully
developed but before it has dried and produced any germination
inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter.
If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or
no plants at all[80, 113]. When large enough to handle, prick the
seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm
or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions.
Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species
in this genus.
Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 -
3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very
thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a
rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth
during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to
survive the winter


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