Herbaria 51

Internship Blog/Plants/Interesting Facts

Plant Fact Of The Week IX May 24, 2011

Filed under: Plant Facts — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 11:41 am

This week’s plant fact is brought to you by the genus Ceanothus.

PLANT FACT OF THE WEEK: The leaves of Ceanothus americanus, or New Jersey Tea, was used as a tea substitute during the Revolutionary War when American colonists boycotted tea.

Sources:

Plant Fact: http://www.morningskygreenery.com/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=536

Image:  http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.prairiemoon.com/images/D/Ceanothus-americanus-New-Jersey-Tea-flowers2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/trees-shrubs-vines/ceanothus-americanus-new-jersey-tea/%3Fcat%3D259&usg=__LNzeLyU8WMUdL6FYurmJLISk0p0=&h=450&w=600&sz=53&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=VeO7v8qNy7XuZM:&tbnh=148&tbnw=180&ei=9dDbTaWIAcfh0QGo1d3uDw&prev=/search%3Fq%3DNew%2BJersey%2BTea%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D909%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=333&vpy=555&dur=748&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=149&ty=120&sqi=2&page=1&ndsp=33&ved=1t:429,r:20,s:0

 

Plant Fact Of The Week: Double Feature May 18, 2011

Filed under: Plant Facts — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 11:57 pm

Again, I have fallen behind again on plant facts…But after this post, I should be back on track.

This week’s two-fer is brought to you by the genera Amianthium and Liriodendron.

PLANT FACT OF THE WEEK VII:  Fly-poison ( Amianthium muscaetoxicum ) is an herb that is restricted to the eastern end of the Great Smokies, blooming May through July. Its roots and leaves contain an alkaloid that is very toxic/poisonous to cattle.

PLANT FACT OF THE WEEK VIII: The tulip tree ( Liriodendron tulipifera) served several uses for Native Americans. They would use the wood from the tree for their canoes, and a few tribes (Cherokee and Rappahannock) would also use the bark and roots as a tonic for rheumatism and digestive disorders.

Also, as a little side note…I love this tree. Its leaves look like duck feet, and the flowers (although not incredibly showy) are wonderful to gaze upon. And the spent inflorescences also make the tree easy to identify in the winter!

Sources

Plant Fact I: Supka, A. (1994). Wildflowers in color. New York: HarperPerennial.

Image I: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/Amianthium/Amianthium_muscaetoxicum_Closeup_JAY.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Amianthium&usg=__2FGYnvtiU4WIW02HxlriN9jDtJk=&h=550&w=462&sz=61&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=H5YzVoAZ8EJdmM:&tbnh=150&tbnw=146&ei=1YHUTa6JGMP1gAelh_TGBw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Damianthium%2Bmuscaetoxicum%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D909%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=566&vpy=68&dur=8094&hovh=245&hovw=206&tx=119&ty=134&sqi=2&page=1&ndsp=35&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0

Plant Fact II: http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/L/Liriodendron_tulipifera/

Image II:http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Liriodendron_tulipifera.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Liriodendron_tulipifera.jpg&usg=__QFdxM1E_5hcUR1GlNkEcwCddiCg=&h=768&w=1024&sz=396&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=369FcbGLd8FdlM:&tbnh=136&tbnw=184&ei=AZPUTbWrMsSbtwfHqoWXCA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dliriodendron%2Btulipifera%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D909%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=575&vpy=122&dur=7735&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=209&ty=95&sqi=2&page=1&ndsp=37&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0

 

Plant Fact Of The Week V and VI: Double Feature! May 9, 2011

Filed under: Plant Facts — To Prune Or Not To Prune @ 4:23 pm

Because the end of the semester is quickly approaching, I forgot to post a plant fact for the past two weeks. I am incredibly sorry for those of you who’ve been dying to hear more about plants… But to make up for my folly, I decided to make this post a two-for-one, with another post on the way either tomorrow or Wednesday.

This week’s two-fer is brought to you by the genera Hamamelis and Prunus.

PLANT FACT OF THE WEEK V: The Japanese cherry blossom tree (in the genus Prunus) blooms only for 3-4 days, which is a relatively short flowering period. In Japanese culture, the cherry blossom tree (or as they call it:  sakura) is a metaphoric representation of life because of the short (and spectacular) flowering time.

PLANT FACT OF THE WEEK VI:  I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie Coraline, but in one of the scenes, Coraline is walking around the property of her new home with a “dowsing” rod.  A dowsing rod is said to be used to find precious resources like things that are lost, oil, or most importantly: water. Normally, it’s an L-shaped or Y-shaped branch.  When Wybie appears, he informs her towards the end of the scene that her dowsing rod is (now this is where my memory gets fuzzy…  it’s either poison oak/sumac), which then causes her to throw it away in fright and disgust.

But back to the original matter at hand, witch hazel (Hamamelis) was(is) a popular source of wood for divining water…and the divination of water has been around for quite a long time (just Google it and see how many hits you’ll get)!

Sources

Plant Fact I: http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/articles/article/Japan/Japanese-Cherry-Blossom-Trees/1582

Image I: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://topruneornottoprune.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/cherry-blossoms.jpg?w=300&imgrefurl=http://www.solifestyle.com/2011/04/cherrywatch-2011-brooklyn-botanic.html&usg=__xOA6oLobgRumYsKNF-Y5vY17ezc=&h=1200&w=1600&sz=641&hl=en&start=154&zoom=1&tbnid=2pybjQOBzfWOZM:&tbnh=159&tbnw=210&ei=6LTCTb_iLIbk0gHp1IzvAw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dsakura%2Bfestival%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D909%26tbs%3Dic:color%26tbm%3Disch0%2C5030&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=561&vpy=372&dur=167&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=158&ty=114&page=8&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:154&biw=1280&bih=909

Plant Fact II: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/dowsing.html

Image II: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/files/library/a53a5f68bc5861d2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/page.php%3Fid%3D856&usg=__q5F9Lz4ozIwPLUTSd7jV2gAM8OI=&h=426&w=568&sz=41&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=xXfTgM0YdresWM:&tbnh=141&tbnw=188&ei=NEPITazdIYXVgAf88uDOBA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dwitch%2Bhazel,%2Bdivining%2Brod%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D909%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=497&vpy=400&dur=102&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=181&ty=85&page=1&ndsp=31&ved=1t:429,r:15,s:0