Category Archives: Herbal Flowers

Herbal Flowers

Cactus and Other Succulents

Cactus and Other Succulents

A cactus (plural: cactuses, cacti) is any member of the plant family Cactaceae, native to the Americas (with one exception, Rhipsalis baccifera, which is native to parts of the Old World). They are often used as ornamental plants, and some are also crop plants for fodder, forage, fruits, cochineal, and other uses. Cactuses are part of the plant order Caryophyllales, which also includes members like beets, gypsophila, spinach, amaranth, tumbleweeds, carnations, rhubarb, buckwheat, plumbago, bougainvillea, chickweed and knotgrass.

Cacti are unusual and distinctive plants, which are adapted to extremely arid and/or semi-arid hot environments, as well as tropical environments as epiphytes or hemi-epiphytes . They show a wide range of anatomical and physiological features which conserve water. Their stems have adapted to become photosynthetic and succulent, while the leaves have become the spines for which cacti are well known.

Cacti come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The tallest is Pachycereus pringlei, with a maximum recorded height of 19.2 m, and the smallest is Blossfeldia liliputiana, only about 1 cm diameter at maturity. Cactus flowers are large, and like the spines and branches arise from areoles. Many cactus species are night blooming, as they are pollinated by nocturnal insects or small animals, principally moths and bats. Cacti range in size from small and globular to tall and columnar.

Uses

Cacti, cultivated by people worldwide, are a familiar sight as potted plants, houseplants or in ornamental gardens in warmer climates. They often form part of xeriphytic (dry) gardens in arid regions, or raised rockeries. Some countries, such as Australia, have water restrictions in many cities, so drought-resistant plants are increasing in popularity. Numerous species have entered widespread cultivation, including members of Echinopsis, Mammillaria and Cereus among others. Some, such as the Golden Barrel dekha Cactus, Echinocactus grusonii, are prominent in garden design. Cacti are commonly used for fencing material where there is a lack of either natural resources or financial means to construct a permanent fence. This is often seen in arid and warm climates, such as the Masai Mara in Kenya. This is known as a cactus fence. Cactus fences are often used by homeowners and landscape architects for home security purposes. The sharp thorns of the cactus deter unauthorized persons from entering private properties, and may prevent break-ins if planted under windows and near drainpipes. The aesthetic characteristics of some species, in conjunction with their home security qualities, makes them a considerable alternative to artificial fences and walls.

Description

Cacti are perennial and grow as trees, shrubs, or vines. Most species are terrestrial, but there are also many epiphytic species, especially in the tribes Rhipsalideae and Hylocereeae. In most species, except for the sub-family Pereskioideae (see image), the leaves are greatly or entirely reduced. The leaves may also be tiny and deciduous as can be seen on new shoots of Opuntia. Spines found in the cacti are actually modified leaves; the stems (the green “pads” of many cacti) have also evolved to photosynthesize. The flowers, mostly radially symmetrical and bisexual, bloom either by day or by night, depending on the species.

Their shape varies from tube-like through bell-like to wheel-shaped, and their size from 0.2 to 15–30 centimeters. Most of them have numerous sepals (from 5 to 50 or more), and change form from outside to inside, from bracts to petals. They have stamens in great numbers (from 50 to 1,500, rarely fewer). Nearly all species of cacti have a bitter mucilaginous sap contained within them. The berry-like fruits may contain few to many (3,000), seeds, which can be between 0.4 and 12 mm long.

The life of a cactus is seldom longer than 300 years but may be as short as 25 years, (although these flower as early as their second year). The Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) grows to a height of up to 15 meters (the record is 17 meters 67 cm), but in its first ten years, it grows only 10 centimeters. The “mother-in-law’s cushion” (Echinocactus grusonii) reaches a height of 2.5 meters and a diameter of 1 meter and – at least on the Canaries – is already capable of flowering after 6 years. The diameter of cactus flowers ranges from 5 to 30 cm; the colors are often conspicuous and spectacular.

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Lotus flowers

Lotus flowers

Lotuses are perhaps the most spectacular plants in aquatic environments. The Chinese say that, once having seen the growing lotus, you never forget it. The lotus flowers have color from red, pink, pale yellow to creamy white.

A separate, long, tubular stalk supports each flower and each large round leaf.The sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera, is an extreme important spiritual symbol in Eastern religions.

It represents purity, divine wisdom, and the individual’s progress from the lowest to the highest state of consciousness.Seeded in muddy waters, the lotus rises above the mud and produces beautiful and fragrant flowers. The big showy bloom may be 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) in diameter.

The flowers open for just three days. Then each petal falls silently into the water, one by one, at a short period. The large green seed head or pod remains on the top of the stalk for a long time, and gradually turning to dark color and ripe.

The seeds impeded in the cone-shape pod with flat surface at the top. The pod then reverts to the water, where it floats face down, allowing seeds to take hold in the mud. The seeds then germinate in the following Spring and give rise to new lotus plants.

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Rose

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Rose

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Flos Rosae Rugosae

Alias – Lake flowers, Rosa flowers.

Sources – for the Rosaceae Rose Rosa rugosa Thunb.’s Bud.

Plant Morphology – deciduous shrub, height of about 2m. Stem and branches are Picts, glandular, and dense was fluff. Alternate pinnate compound leaf; lobule 5 ~ 9, oval-shaped or oval-shaped obovate, long 2 ~ 5cm, fine serrated edge, the following are off-white soft dense hair, and glands; petiole, leaf axis villi, bristle and Picts ; stipule most attached to the petiole, the edge glandular spots; petiole often into the front of the base of the thorn of Health. Flowers solitary or several poly-Duo-sheng, a thick aroma; sepals 5, lanceolate; petals 5 or plena, purple to white; stamens majority of the receptacle was born on the edge of the faceplate; pistil majority of packages in the receptacle inside. Rosa fruit bian spherical, brick red, diameter of 2 ~ 2.5cm, florescence 5 ~ 8 months, fruit Issue 6 September.

Born in hills, valleys, around the cultivation. Distributed in the north-east and Shaanxi, Gansu, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

Collect and process – will be open during spring and early summer flowers picked in batches, timely low-temperature drying.

Characters – showed massive hemispherical or irregular groups, diameter 1 ~ 2.5cm. Receptacle hemispherical, with the calyx base Hopson; sepals 5, lanceolate, yellow-green or brownish green, was the photogenic powder hair; petals more shrinkage, flattening after the wide-ovate, showing tile-shaped arrangement of fragrant, purple or brownish red. Body of light, crisp. Gas-rich aroma.

Chemical composition – containing volatile oil, mainly benzene, alcohol (phenylethanol), citronellol (citronellol), Long Geraniol (Geraniol), neroli (nerol), eugenol.

Of taste – and warm, sweet, slightly bitter flavor.

Indication – Qi Jieyu, and blood pain. For hepatogastric gas pain, eat less Oue, irregular menstruation, pain or flutter.

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