Insulation

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Re: Insulation

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 14:29




Verbascum thapsus -
L.


Great Mullein



AuthorL.
Botanical references17, 200

FamilyScrophulariaceae
GenusVerbascum
Synonyms

Known HazardsThe
leaves contain rotenone and coumarin, though the quantities are not
given[222]. Rotenone is used as an insecticide and coumarin can prevent
the blood from clotting[K].
Hairs on the leaves can act as an irritant[222].
RangeEurope, including Britain, from Norway south and east to Spain, temperate Asia to China.
HabitatSunny positions in uncultivated fields and waste ground, especially on dry soils[7, 13, 17].

Edibility Rating 1 (1-5)
Medicinal Rating 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics





Biennial growing to 1.8m.
It is hardy to zone 3 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 Flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).
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 and can grow in very alkaline soil.
It cannot grow in the shade.
It requires dry or moist soil.
The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.



Habitats


Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses


Edible Uses: Tea.


An aromatic, slightly bitter tea can be made by infusing the dried leaves in boiling water for 5 - 10 minutes[183].
A sweeter tea can be made by infusing the fresh or dried flowers[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.


Anodyne; Antiseptic; Astringent; Demulcent; Emollient; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Narcotic; Odontalgic; Vulnerary.


Great mullein is a commonly used domestic herbal remedy, valued for
its efficacy in the treatment of pectoral complaints[4]. It acts by
reducing the formation of mucus and stimulating the coughing up of
phlegm, and is a specific treatment for tracheitis and bronchitis[254].
The leaves and the flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic,
antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant
and vulnerary[4, 7, 13, 21, 46, 53, 165, 222]. An infusion is taken
internally in the treatment of a wide range of chest complaints and
also to treat diarrhoea[4, 238]. The plant combines well with other
expectorants such as coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) and thyme (Thymus
vulgaris)[254]. Externally, a poultice of the leaves is a good healer
of wounds and is also applied to ulcers, tumours and piles[4, 222,
254]. Any preparation made from the leaves needs to be carefully
strained in order to remove the small hairs which can be an
irritant[7]. The plant is harvested when in flower and is dried for
later use[238].
An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is used as earache drops, or as
a local application in the treatment of piles and other mucous membrane
inflammations[4, 222, 238]. This infusion is also strongly
bactericidal[4].
A decoction of the roots is said to alleviate toothache and also
relieve cramps and convulsions[4].
The juice of the plant and powder made from the dried roots is said to
quickly remove rough warts when rubbed on them[4]. It is not thought to
be so useful for smooth warts[4].
The seeds are slightly narcotic and also contain saponins[4]. A
poultice made from the seeds and leaves is used to draw out
splinters[4]. A decoction of the seeds is used to soothe chilblains and
chapped skin[7].
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh leaves[4]. It is used in
the treatment of long-standing headaches accompanied with oppression of
the ear[4].

Other Uses


Dye; Insecticide; Insulation; Lighting; Tinder; Wick.


A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers by boiling them in water[4].
When used with dilute sulphuric acid they produce a rather permanent
green dye, this becomes brown with the addition of alkalis[4, 13, 100,
168]. An infusion of the flowers is sometimes used to dye the hair a
golden colour[4, 200].
The flowering stems can be dipped in wax and used as torches[53, 106,
124].
The down on the leaves and stems makes an excellent tinder when quite
dry[4, 53, 115]. It is also used as an insulation in shoes to keep the
feet warm[4, 200] and to make wicks for candle[1, 4, 13, 100, 115,
124].
One report says that the leaves contain rotenone, though it does not
say in what quantity[222]. Rotenone is used as an insecticide[K].

Cultivation details



An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most well-drained soils,
including dry ones, and prefers a sunny position[200]. Dislikes shade
and wet soils[200]. Thrives on chalk[200]. Prefers a light soil[200].
Hybridizes with other members of this genus, though the progeny are
usually sterile[200].
A very ornamental plant, it often self-sows, especially on dry
calcareous soils[53, 124].

Propagation



Seed - sow late spring to early summer in a cold frame and only just
cover the seed[200]. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3
weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings
into individual pots and plant them out in late summer. The seed has a
long viability[200].



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Re: Insulation

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 14:27




Typha latifolia -
L.


Reedmace



AuthorL.
Botanical references17, 200

FamilyTyphaceae
GenusTypha
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: Insulation

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 14:26




Typha domingensis -
(Pers.)Steud.


Southern Cattail



Author(Pers.)Steud.
Botanical references50, 200

FamilyTyphaceae
GenusTypha
SynonymsTypha angustata - Bory-Chaubard.


Known HazardsNone known
RangeEurope, Asia, southern N. America.

HabitatBrackish to fresh marshes and pools in N. America at elevations from sea level to 2000 metres[43, 270].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 4 (1-5)
Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 3m.

It is hardy to zone 5. 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.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soil.
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[145]. Rich in starch[105], it can be boiled
and eaten like potatoes or macerated and then boiled to yield a sweet
syrup. The root can also be dried, ground into a poder and then used as
a thickener in soups etc or added to cereal flours. Rich in protein,
this flour is used to make biscuits, bread, cakes etc[183]. The root
contains a lot of fibre[193]. One way to remove this fibre is to peel
lengths of the root that are about 20 - 25cm long, place them by a fire
for a short while to dry and then twist and loosen the fibres when the
starch of the root can be shaken out[193].
Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked[193]. An asparagus substitute.
The inner core is eaten[172].
Base of mature stem - raw or cooked. It is best to remove the outer
part of the stem.
Young flowering stem - raw, cooked or made into a soup. Tastes like
sweet corn[172].
Seed - cooked. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize, but has
a pleasant nutty taste when roasted.
An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Due to the small size of the
seed this is probably not a very worthwhile crop[K].
Pollen - raw or cooked. A protein rich additive to flour used in making
bread, porridge etc[105, 183]. It can also be eaten with the young
flowers, 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.

Astringent; Diuretic; Haemostatic; Vulnerary.


The leaves are diuretic[218].
The pollen is astringent, desiccant, diuretic, haemostatic and
vulnerary[176, 218]. It is used in the treatment of nose bleeds,
haematemesis, haematuria, uterine bleeding, dysmenorrhoea, postpartum
abdominal pain and gastralgia, scrofula and abscesses[176]. It is
contraindicated for pregnant women[176].
The seed down is haemostatic[218].
The rootstock is astringent and diuretic[240].

Other Uses


Biomass; Fibre; Insulation; Miscellany; Paper; Soil stabilization; Stuffing; Thatching; 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[145,
257]. They are a good source of biomass, making an excellent addition
to the compost heap or used as a source of fuel etc.
A fibre obtained from the roots can be used for making string[193].
The hairs of the fruits are used for stuffing pillows etc. They have
good insulating and buoyancy properties.
The pollen is highly inflammable and is used in making fireworks.
This plants extensive root system makes it very good for stabilizing
wet banks of rivers, lakes etc.

Cultivation details



Grows in boggy pond margins or shallow water to 15cm deep[1, 200].
Requires a rich wet soil if it is to well[200]. Succeeds in sun or part
shade[200].
Plants can be very invasive, spreading freely at the roots when in a
suitable site[200]. Typha domingensis aggressively invades and forms
nearly pure stands in brackish or nutrient-enriched wetlands in the
Florida Everglades and elsewhere. It is established but does not mature
fruits on the cold coast of northern California[270].

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: Insulation

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 14:24




Typha angustifolia -
L.


Small Reed Mace



AuthorL.
Botanical references17, 200, 270

FamilyTyphaceae
GenusTypha
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: Insulation

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 14:22




Phragmites australis -
(Cav.)Trin. ex Steud.


Common Reed



Author(Cav.)Trin. ex Steud.
Botanical references17, 200

FamilyGramineae
GenusPhragmites
SynonymsArundo phragmites - L.

Phragmites communis - Trin.

Phragmites vulgaris - (Lam.)Crépin.



Known HazardsNone known
RangeCosmopolitan, in most regions of the world, including Britain, but absent from the Amazon Basin.
HabitatShallow water and wet soil, avoiding extremely poor soils and very acid habitats[17].
Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 5 (1-5)
Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Perennial growing to 3.6m by 3m at a fast rate.
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 Wind.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline 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 tolerate maritime exposure.


Habitats


Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed; Stem.


Edible Uses: Sweetener.

Root - raw or cooked like potatoes[2, 13, 74, 102, 106, 183]. It
contains up to 5% sugar. The flavour and texture are best when the root
is young and still growing[144]. It can be dried, ground coarsely and
used as a porridge[12, 46, 62]. In Russia they are harvested and
processed into starch[269].
Young shoots - raw or cooked[61, 62, 102, 179]. They are best if used
before the leaves form, when they are really delicious[144]. They can
be used like bamboo shoots[183]. The partly unfolded leaves can be used
as a potherb and the Japanese dry young leaves, grind them into a
powder and mix them with cereal flour when making dumplings[183]. The
stems are reported to contain 4.8 g protein, 0.8 g fat, 90.0 g total
carbohydrate, 41.2 g fiber, and 4.4 g ash[269].
Seed - raw or cooked[257]. It can be ground into a powder and used as a
flour[57, 62, 102, 106]. The seed is rather small and difficult to
remove from the husk but it is said to be very nutritious[183].
A sugar is extracted from the stalks or wounded stems[2, 5, 62, 95]. A
sweet liquorice-like taste[95], it can be eaten raw or cooked[62]. The
stems can be boiled in water and then the water boiled off in order to
obtain the sugar[178]. A sugary gum that exudes from the stems can be
rolled into balls and eaten as sweets[183].
A powder extracted from the dried stems can be moistened and roasted
like marshmallow[62, 95, 102, 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.

Antiasthmatic; Antidote; Antiemetic; Antitussive; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Lithontripic; Refrigerant; Sialagogue; Stomachic; Styptic.


The leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis and cholera, the ash
of the leaves is applied to foul sores[218].
A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of cholera and food
poisoning[218]. The ashes are styptic[218].
The stem is antidote, antiemetic, antipyretic and refrigerant[218].
The root is antiasthmatic, antiemetic, antipyretic, antitussive,
depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, lithontripic, sedative, sialogogue and
stomachic[147, 176, 218, 238]. It is taken internally in the treatment
of diarrhoea, fevers, vomiting, coughs with thick dark phlegm, lung
abscesses, urinary tract infections and food poisoning (especially from
sea foods)[238, 257]. Externally, it is mixed with gypsum and used to
treat halitosis and toothache[238]. The root is harvested in the autumn
and juiced or dried for use in decoctions[238].

Other Uses


Basketry; Biomass; Broom; Cork; Dye; Fibre; Fuel; Furniture; Insulation; Miscellany; Paper; Pencil; Soil stabilization; Thatching; Weaving.


The common reed can provide a large quantity of biomass and this is
used in a wide variety of ways as listed below. Annual yields of 40 -
63 tonnes per hectare have been reported[269]. The plant is also
converted into alcohol (for use as a fuel), is burnt as a fuel and is
made into fertilizer[238]. The plant is rich in pentosans and may be
used for the production of furfural - the nodes and sheaths yield 6.6%
whilst the underground parts over 13% of furfural[269]. The pentosan
content increases throughout the growing period and is maximum in the
mature reed[269]. The reed can be used also for the preparation of
absolute alcohol, feed yeast and lactic acid[269].
The stems are useful in the production of homogeneous boards[269]. They
can also be processed into a fine fibrous material suitable as a filler
in upholstery[269].
The stems have many uses. They are used for thatching roofs[1, 46, 74,
106]. It can last for 100 years[169]. The stems and leaves are also
used for building dwellings, lattices, fences, arrows by Indians, and
for weaving mats, carrying nets, basket making, insulation, fuel, as a
cork substitute etc[13, 74, 99, 102, 115, 257, 269].
The stem contains over 50 percent cellulose and is useful in the
manufacture of pulps for rayon and paper[269]. The fibre from the
leaves and stems is used for making paper[189]. The fibre is 0.8 - 3.0
mm long and 5.0 - 30.5µm in diameter. The stems and leaves are
harvested in the summer, cut into usable pieces and soaked for 24 hours
in clear water. They are then cooked for 2 hours with lye and beaten in
a blender. The fibre makes a khaki paper[189].
A fibre obtained from the plant is used for making string[95, 106]. The
flowering stalks yield a fibre suitable for rope making[269].
The leaves are used in basket making and for weaving mats etc[169,
238].
A light green dye is obtained from the flowers[6, 115].
Freshly cut shoots are a good green manure[74] (Does this mean as a soil
mulch?[K]). The inflorescences are used as brooms[74].
The plant can be used as a cork substitute[74]. No further details.
The plant is mixed with mud to make a plaster for walls[145].
Pens for writing on parchment were cut and fashioned from the thin
stems of this reed[269], whilst the stems were also used as a linear
measuring device[269].
The plant has a very vigorous and running rootstock, it is useful for
binding the soil along the sides of streams etc[115]. It is planted for
flood control since it stablizes the banks and gradually builds up soil
depth, thus raising the level of the bank.

Cultivation details



A very easily grown plant that thrives in deep moisture retentive soils
such as marshes and swamps, whilst it also grows well along the sides
of streams, lakes and ponds, in shallow water, ditches and wet
wastelands[162, 200, 269]. Plants are tolerant of moderately saline
water[169, 269]. The plant is reported to tolerate an annual
precipitation in the range of 31 to 241cm, an annual temperature in the
range of 6.6 to 26.6°C and a pH of 4.8 to 8.2[269].
Plants are hardy to about -20°c[200]. This species is very fast growing
with a very vigorous and invasive running rootstock that can be 10
metres or more long, it can form very large stands in wetlands[200,
238, 260]. Difficult to eradicate once established, it is unsuitable
for planting into small spaces[200, 238, 269].
The flowering heads are often used in dried flower arrangements[238].
There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value[238].

Propagation



Seed - surface sow in spring in a light position. Keep the soil moist
by emmersing the pot in 3cm of water. Germination usually takes place
quite quickly. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they
are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring. Very simple, any part of the root that has a growth
bud will grow into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out
direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better
to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a
cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in
late spring or early summer.

Cultivars


No entries have been made for this species as yet.



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Re: Insulation

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 14:19




Linum usitatissimum -
L.


Flax



AuthorL.
Botanical references200

FamilyLinaceae
GenusLinum
Synonyms

Known Hazardswarning signThe
seed of some strains contain cyanogenic glycosides in the seed though
the toxicity is low, especially if the seed is eaten slowly. It becomes
more toxic if water is drunk at the same time[76, 222].
The cyanogenic glycosides are also present in other parts of the plant
and have caused poisoning to livestock[240].
RangePossibly native to Europe. A rare casual in Britain, the original habitat is obscure.
HabitatNot known in the wild.

Edibility Ratingapple iconapple iconapple iconapple icon 4 (1-5)
Medicinal Ratingapple iconapple iconapple icon 3 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics



icon of man
icon of perennial/biennial/annual
Annual growing to 0.7m by 0.2m.
It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from
June to July, 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 is self-fertile.

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


Habitats



Cultivated Beds;
Cultivars: (as above except)
'Foster'

Edible Uses


Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil.


Seed - raw or cooked[61]. The seed contains 30 - 40% oil, which
comprises mainly linoleic and linolenic acids[238]. The seed also
contains cyanogenic glycosides (prussic acid). In small quantities
these glycosides stimulate respiration and improve digestion, but in
excess can cause respiratory failure and death[238]. Cultivars low in
these glycosides have been developed and large quantities of the seed
would need to be eaten to achieve a harmful dose. The seed is used in
breads and cereals, it can also be sprouted and used in salads[183].
The seed is hard to digest and provokes flatulence[4]. A nutritional
analysis is available[218].
The roasted seed is said to be a coffee substitute[183].
A herbal tea can be brewed from the seed[183].
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[183, 269], though it needs to
be properly refined before it can be eaten. Some caution is advised in
the use of the seeds for food since some varieties of this plant
contain toxins.

Composition


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

Seed (Fresh weight)
  • 498 Calories per 100g
  • Water: 6.5%
  • Protein: 19g; Fat: 35.5g; Carbohydrate: 35.4g; Fibre: 6.8g; Ash: 3.5g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 220mg; Phosphorus: 415mg; Iron: 23mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0.03mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.17mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.16mg; Niacin: 1.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [218]
  • Notes: The figures given here are the median of a range given in
    the report. Iron had an especially large range, from 2.7 - 43.8.

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.

Analgesic; Cancer; Cardiotonic; Demulcent; Emollient; Expectorant; Laxative; Nervine; Pectoral; Resolvent; VD.


Linseed has a long history of medicinal use, its main effects being as
a laxative and expectorant that soothes irritated tissues, controls
coughing and relieves pain[238]. The seed, or the oil from the seed are
normally used[238].
The seed is analgesic, demulcent, emollient, laxative, pectoral and
resolvent[4, 9, 21, 46, 165, 218, 240]. The crushed seed makes a very
useful poultice in the treatment of ulceration, abscesses and
deep-seated inflammations[4, 244]. An infusion of the seed contains a
good deal of mucilage and is a valuable domestic remedy for coughs,
colds and inflammation of the urinary organs[4]. If the seed is bruised
and then eaten straight away, it will swell considerably in the
digestive tract and stimulate peristalsis[9] and so is used in the
treatment of chronic constipation[238].
The oil in the seed contains 4% L-glutamic acid, which is used to treat
mental deficiencies in adults[218]. It also has soothing and
lubricating properties, and is used in medicines to soothe tonsillitis,
sore throats, coughs, colds, constipation, gravel and stones[4, 244].
When mixed with an equal quantity of lime water it is used to treat
burns and scalds[244].
The bark and the leaves are used in the treatment of gonorrhoea[240].
The flowers are cardiotonic and nervine[240].
The plant has a long history of folk use in the treatment of
cancer[218]. It has been found to contain various anticancer
agents[218].

Other Uses


Biomass; Fibre; Gum; Insulation; Oil; Size.


A fibre is obtained from the stem[6, 7, 13, 57, 89]. It is of very high
quality and is used in making cloth, sails, nets, paper, insulating
material etc.The best quality flax fibre is used for making cloth. It
is soft, lustrous and flexible, although not so flexible or elastic as
cotton or wool[269].. It is stronger than cotton, rayon or wool, but
weaker than ramie[269]. Lower quality fibre is used in manufacturing of
towelling, matting, rugs, twines, canvas, bags, and for quality papers
such as printing currency notes[269]. The plant is harvested just after
it flowers[115]. The yield is 0.5 to 0.9 tonnes of fibre per hectare.
When used for paper making, the stems are harvested in late summer or
autumn when they are two thirds yellow and are then retted[189]. The
fibre is then stripped from the stem, cooked for two hours or more with
lye and then beaten in a Hollander beater[189].
The lower quality flax straw from seed flax varieties is used in the
manufacture of upholstery tow, insulating material, rugs, twine, and
paper. Some of the better quality straw is used in the manufacture of
cigarette and other high-grade papers[269].
The seed contains 38 - 40% of a drying oil[141]. It has a very wide
range of applications. The paint and varnish industries consume about
80% of all the linseed oil produced. The remainder is used in items
such as furniture polish, enamels, linoleum, oilcloth, printer's inks,
soap making and patent leather[46, 57, 169, 244, 269]. It is also used
as a wood preservative and as a waterproofing for raincoats, slickers,
and tarpaulins[269]. The oil is also used in a spray on concrete roads
to prevent ice and snow from sticking - it has the additional benefit
of helping to preserve the concrete and prevent surface cracking and
wear[269]. Yields of over 4 tonnes of seed per hectare have been
recorded in N. America, but yields of 2 tonnes or less are more
common[269].
A mucilage from the soaked or boiled seeds is used as a size for linen
warps[169].

Cultivation details



Prefers a light well-drained moderately fertile humus-rich soil in a
sunny sheltered position[200]. Plants grow best in a well-drained,
loamy soil, those overlying a clay subsoil produce the best
results[269]. They prefer a pH in the range of 5 - 7[269]. Very light
highly fertile soils are not desirable as they produce tall rank growth
tending to lodge[269]. Plants are more sensitive to salt than most
field crops[269]. Prefers a cool moist climate during the growing
season, dry weather making the plants short and woody[61, 269]. A very
greedy plant, depleting the soil[4, 123] and requiring a rich, well
prepared soil if it is to do well[123]. Plants help to break up organic
matter and prepare the soil for following crops[201]. Cultivars
selected for seed production succeed under a fairly wide range of
conditions, but those selected for fibre production require abundant
moisture and cool weather during the growing season, and warm dry
weather during harvesting, especially where water-retting is
practiced[269].
The crop requires 15 - 20cm of rainfall if spread evenly over growing
season, with 2.5 cm falling just before or after planting[269]. The
plant needs a relatively long ripening period between flowering and
harvesting. Warm, dry weather is desirable at the heading stage to
cause plants to branch and produce seed; after vegetative growth, dry
weather is required for curing the seed[269].
Linseed has a very long history of cultivation in temperate climates
with evidence to show that it was being grown in Egypt over 5,000 years
ago[269]. It fell into almost complete disuse in Britain in the 20th
century as artificial fibres were increasingly used, but it is once
again coming into prominence both as a fibre and as an oilseed
crop(1995)[K]. Linseed is grown for its edible seed, the oil from the
seed and for the fibres obtained from the stems[46]. There are many
named varieties, though these usually fall within with two classes. One
class, generally known as flax, does not branch much and is grown
mainly for the fibre in its stem, whilst the other class, known as
linseed, branches much more freely and is grown mainly for its seed.
Although classified as a species, linseed is possibly an ancient
cultigen derived in cultivation from L. bienne[17, 238].
Flax crops take 3 - 4 months to reach maturity, though autumn or early
spring sown crops can take 6 - 7 months[269].
Lolium specis (Rye grasses) and Phleum species (Timothy grass) have
allelopathic effects on Linum, reducing its carbohydrate
synthesis[269]. Linseed is a good companion plant for potatoes and
carrots but is inhibited by Camelina sativa[18, 20].

Propagation



Seed - sow early to late spring in situ. Do not transplant the seedlings[238].

Cultivars


'Foster'
The golden-yellow seeds have a mild flavour and are used for
culinary purposes and for making oil - they are a sesame seed
substitute[183].



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Insulation

Post by wannabemountainman on Mon 13 Jul 2009, 14:08






Calluna vulgaris -
(L.)Hull.


Heather



Author(L.)Hull.
Botanical references11, 17, 200

FamilyEricaceae
GenusCalluna
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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