3 things I learned this summer, photos x 3

poisondartfrogJuly 29, 2010

This year was not the best I've enjoyed in the garden, but I was able to satisfy my curiosity about a few things I have wondered about growing from seed.

1. Hibiscus cannabinus "Chatooga Gold". No one seemed to know what it looked like. I bought the seeds last year, grew it out this year and waited to see what made it "gold". No gold, but the flower color, which varies a bit blossom to blossom was different than the typical red or white forms.

2. Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy-What can you expect from seeds saved from plants grown from commercial sources? I am not a Rudbeckia lover and was not a fan of this new introduction in it's commercial form. I like the next generation of open pollinated plants better.

3. What happens when you grow out seeds from one of the newer Echinacea varieties? This is what I got from "Sundown". I like the color; too bad the insects got to it before I did.

Anyone else learn something new this year?


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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

Those are very nice flowers you've got there. I think I agree with you on the second one not being a favorite though. I think the plastic flower trade has really ruined that one for me. It looks like your friendly garden spiders are making good use of it though!

The Echinacea flower I didn't even notice that bugs had attacked it until I read the caption and looked closely. The middle part really draws and holds the attention while the petals mostly provide contrast. I don't think it looks bad at all... which brings me to a question. When people talk about the health properties of Echinacea the only variety that I hear along with it is "purple cone flower". Does it really have to be the purple one? or do all of these cone flowers have the same usefulness?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 8:59AM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

I learned (again) that my hairy balls plant will never grow to the seed pod setting stage because all of the monarch caterpillars will eat it to bare twigs first.

But I also learned that a packet of the seed from Johnny's will last me (and the caterpillars) two year's sowings - so feeding the monarchs is now budgeted in to my garden costs.

Thanks for introducing me to such a butterfly friendly plant!

I also learned that ground, dried comfrey root and water make a nice natural bandaid that immediately relieves itching and swelling from yellow jacket stings. I've had a lot of use for that one this summer!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 12:05PM
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buck, I am not sure the variety matters, but I think purpurea is the Echinacea species most often used medicinally.
Lynda, I did grow hairy balls this year, but I also grew family jewels (Gomphocarpus fruticosa syn Asclepias fruticosa)for the first time. I think I may go with fruticosa exclusively next year. It looks almost the same. The leaves are a little narrower, maybe. The seed capsules are a bit more of an ellipse, I think. The advantage is that the plants seem to grow a bit shorter. The Monarch cats are not showing any preference for one over the other, but the shorter one might be easier to integrate into the garden.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 7:01AM
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I wish we could edit our posts! I just realized that I labeled Hibiscus coccineus as Hibiscus cannabinus. I seem to be doing crazy things like that a lot this summer. If anyone knows how to use the Gingko biloba tree I grew from seed mecically please share your knowledge. I think my mind could use sharpening.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 12:23PM
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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

If you are able to reproduce that tree I would really like one! Every time I go to a store I stand there staring at the tea assortment trying to wish a box of Ginko tea into existence. I've found that Ginko is the only way that I can wake up remembering my good dreams, otherwise I only remember the worst ones that wake me up.

From what I remember, the seeds are not for eating and the leaves have the stuff you want. Tea is probably your best bet. I don't have measurements on dosages and what books I have that may show them are packed for moving. The amount that would fill a teabag with dried leaves would be a pretty safe bet until you find out for sure. It would be physically difficult to overdose on Ginko vegetation and unless you have some special plans for it I don't think it's necessary to try and make concentrated extracts from it. Tea or salad should be effective and safe but like lots of medicinals, it's generally a good idea to not use a substance every day. A basic maximum would be something like one day off per week, one week off per month, one month off every four/six, etc.. From my experience, the positive effects of Ginko last for one or two days and if taken every day the effect of vivid dreaming wears off after about 2 weeks.

Due note that I'm not a doctor or qualified herbal expert and I speak only on my experience.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 6:47PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

Alana - I planted my hairy balls in buckets this year. They are doing quite well there.

My flower garden is almost all perennials now, so I'm container growing the few annuals that I just can't do without.

I've got about 5 hairy balls plants per 5 gallon bucket and grew 2 buckets this year. The caterpillars have just finished turning the plants into bare sticks and they've moved on to the chrysalis stage. It's like an easter egg hunt in the garden now - two on a water barrel, one on the gourd arbor, another one here another two there.

Until last year I had not seed a monarch butterfly since my childhood. Now they are all over the place.

As you can probably tell, I'm really glad you sent me my first seeds for this plant and introduced me to the wonder of hairy balls. I do have to admit, though, that I was a little surprised by that seed packet when I first saw it!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:32AM
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Alana, i bet grovespirit would know, she knows alot about herbs and how to use them....i'm not sure if she knows about that one. you could always ask her though!! The book i have say's nothing about how to use that. :'( i never did get my "hairy balls" seeds to germinate, i really did want to get to show the kids those!! LOL it sure would have been funny!! **grin** ~medo

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 6:33PM
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some things i learned....castor beans, zone 8, will grow in ks 5b on the north side of my house. year after year, only me!! LOL and single angel trumpets i can get to grow on the north side year after year too. these are my favorite plants!! **big smile** ~medo

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 8:50PM
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ginko as on iplant (medicinal plant info app on my iphone)

native to north china concidered the oldest tree species high ewsisstance to desiese insects and pollution the leaves have been placed in books to repel bookworms

food applications
inner seeds are edible if roasted in achient chiunese and japenese cultures they were used to prevent drunkenness

medicinal properties
antibacterial antifungal antioxidant astringent creberial tonic circulatory stimulant expectorant kidney tonic rejuvinative sedative (cuts here but in such a way i think theres more)

medicinal usage
tea tinture capsules
different parts have different properties leaves are antioxidant brain tonic circulatory stimulant and rejuvinative the nuts are antibacterial antifungal antitussive astringent expectorant and sedative as with properties different parts of the plant are used tor different purposes the leaves are used for alzheimeers disease anxiety asthma blindness blood clots cereberial arteriosclerosiss deafness dementia depression hearing loss hemorrhoids impotence macular degeneration memory loss nerve deafness pain in the extremeties plebitits poor circulation reynauds disease senility skull injuries stroke tinnitius varicose veins vertigo and vision loss the nuts are used foe asthma bladder irriation cancer catarrh diabetes diphtheria dysentary weak kidneys incontence typhoid tinnius tuberculosis frequient urnination vaginial infection and prepherial vascular desiese
ginko helps to relax blood vessils so that more nutrients can be delivered into the body it helps the brain uselise oxygen and glucose better and improves perferial circulatiion yet does not keep one awake it increases cereberal blood flow and the rate at which information is transmitted also has an anti-agretory effect on blood platelets

fruit from female trees may cause contact dermatitis or mouth lesions do not eat the pulp of the fruit the nut is not suggested for long term use excess use may cause fever headache and irritability side effects from using ginko leaves are rare however large amounts have been reported to cause gastrointestinal disturbances and headaches

ok lol i hope that helps some? i have to laugh with the long list of what it can treat to the SHORT list of side effects \-\-arent modern medicines treat one thing and a LONG list possible side effects?\-\- 

im learning i need to NOT trade with those too new or if i do ask them to send first if they refuse put those on my want list then continue on and that i need to get out and get more pictures in and from my garden between making seed packs and trying to start an inventory of my seeds of some sort i havent taken enough time to care fer them or get pictures but they still do well also that with gardens in 2 locations the further one will NEED mulching next year and rebuilding the closer i think even tho its gonna bug me we may cut back on some plants and changing our arrangement around
    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 8:01PM
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"cerebral tonic"; that's what I need alright!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 10:10AM
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Dr. Oz says Black Cohosh could be useful as well. Does anyone know anything about using it?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 6:28PM
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Black Cohosh to iplant (above referenced app)

latin cimicifugi racemosa
black bugbane black snakeroot

native to north america the genus name cimicifuga is from the latin cimicus meaning insect and fugare to drive away as it drives away insects black refers to the dark colored rhizome cohosh is an old indian work meaning dark in the 1800s Black Cohosh was used to treat scarlet fever smallpox and whooping caugh

this herb has been listed by united plant savers as an at risk plant so please avoid buying products harvested from trhe wild only use the cultivated herb

no food applications to mention

nothing medicinal to mention

medicinal usage
tea tinture capsules

one of the ways it can inprove circulation and lower blood pressure is by temporarily dialiating blood vessils a popular herb for women it helps restore healthy mensus and soothes irritation and congestion of the cervix uterus and vagina it can help bring on overdue labor and speed delayed labor by ripening the cervix and strengthing uterine contractions it may be helpfull in treating prostate cancer but that is still undetermined

excessive use irritates nervous system and can cause nausea avoid during pregnancy except during final stages as it can cause miscarrage not for use during breast feeding avoid if one has heart conditions large doses can cause low blood pressure nausea and vomitting can increase interocular pressure so avoid for people with high eye pressure


im a bit odd on some bits but its a starting point if nothing else

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 6:11PM
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