Plant used for/Insectiary

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Insectiary
Used to attract desirable insects, such as pollinators.

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Inventory

Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for plants that are used as Insectiary:

IDcommon namefamilylatin namedatequantityactiondays to germpropagationdays to maturityhabitatsundrainagesoilinventorynotesnutrientsneedsuse
20BorageBoraginaceaeBorago officinalis (dg fo pf wp)Sow in early spring, directly in the garden, and expect flowers by midsummer.80Plant prefers full sun to part shade and moist soils.sun or partial shademoist100 eachAnnual or overwintering annual. 80 days to maturity. Native to the Mediterranean. This vigorous self-seeder would seem weedy if it were less pretty. As it is, its always a welcome sight in the garden, where it emerges when and where it likes. Children love to eat the nodding, blue and purple flowers that gladden the heart.Potassium, SilicaInsectiary
248Butterfly Weed; Pleurisy RootApocynaceaeAsclepias tuberosa (dg fo pf wp)30Seed best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring, though stored seed might need 2 - 3 weeks cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly.

Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.

Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.

Prefers a well-drained light, rich or peaty soil. Prefers a sandy soil and a sunny position. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Prefers a dry soil. Plants are hardy to about -20°c.

Plants should be pot-grown from seed and planted out in their permanent positions when young. Plants are particularly at risk from slugs, however, and some protection will probably be required until the plants are established and also in the spring when the new shoots come into growth. The flower can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant.
sun or partial shadewell drainedrich0 each*Flower buds - cooked. They taste somewhat like peas.
  • Young shoots - cooked. An asparagus substitute.
  • The tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach.
  • Young seed pods - cooked. Harvested when 3 - 4 cm long and before the seed floss begins to form, they are very appetizing.
  • The flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup. In hot weather the flowers produce so much nectar that it crystallises out into small lumps which can be eaten like sweets, they are delicious.
  • Root - cooked. A nutty flavour. Some reports say that it is poisonous.
  • An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, however, and commercial usage would not be very viable.

Pleurisy root is a bitter, nutty-flavoured tonic herb that increases perspiration, relieves spasms and acts as an expectorant. It was much used by the North American Indians and acquired a reputation as a heal-all amongst the earlier white settlers. Its main use in present day herbalism is for relieving the pain and inflammation of pleurisy. The root was very popular as a medicinal herb for the treatment of a range of lung diseases, it was considered especially useful as an expectorant.

It has also been used internally with great advantage in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, rheumatism etc. Use with caution; this remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women.

The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried. A poultice of the dried, powdered roots is used in the treatment of swellings, bruises, wounds, ulcers, lameness etc.
Antispasmodic, Carminative, Cathartic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Insectiary, Latex, Oil, Ornamental, Pollution, Poultice, Stuffing, Sweetening, Tonic, Vasodilator
36Heimia; Sinkuiche; Sun Opener; Sinicuichi; Shrubby Yellowcrest; Elixir of the SunLythraceaeHeimia salicifolia (dg fo pf wp)Very small seed -- press into surface of potting soil and keep moist until germination. Keep seedlings in a gallon pot for a year before transplanting outdoors, or maintain the plant in a large pot, as it does reasonalble well in potted culture.Does well in pots. The plant prefers a warm exposure -- full sun, fast-draining soils. I'd guess they are hardy to 20 degrees F. Heimia is really a woody bush, and the yellow flowers are very nice. The bush can be trimmed like a hedge, and it doeesn't mind this treatment a bit.full sunwell drained500 eachWoody or herbaceous perennial bee plant bearing large yellow flowers. This plant is a source of the alkaloidal molecule known as crogenine, which is partially responsible for the hypotensive and sedative effects. Traditionally, the wilted leaves are made into a sun tea, allowed to brew and ferment for at least 24 hours before straining and drinking. The tea encourages a sense of well-being, tinting the vision with amber light, assisting with recollection of past events while promoting calmness and a sense of unity with all nature.Adaptogen, Hypotensive, Insectiary, Sedative
38Indigo Bush; False Indigo Bush; False Indigo; Desert False IndigoFabaceaeAmorpha fruticosa (dg fo pf wp)2013-04-19 00:00:0054 each seeds in 8cc blocksplantScarify seed and sow in spring. Work seedlings up in successively larger pots, and transplant to landscape only after they have filled a gallon pot with roots.Plant prefers full sun and well-drained soils. Does not require trimming back or any other kind of upkeep with the possible exception of weeding (when it is small).full sunwell drained30 eachWoody perennial bush to 10 feet, native to the US. The plant has an open, spreading habit and in my experience stays put where it is planted. Tends to green up in midspring, and flowers soon follow. The plant continues to flower until frost, at which point it loses its leaves and goes into winter dormancy (deciduous). This is a worthy plant for permaculturalists, given to me originally by Rich Pecarrero, the gardener's gardener, who used it in his landscapes as a trouble-free nitrogen fixer and maker of shade and habitat for pollinators and other beneficials. We have planted indigo bush in two places on our farm, and find its long flowering habit, soft and feathery leaves, and handsome fountaining form to be an excellent addition to the landscape.NitrogenInsectiary, Ornamental
48LovageApiaceaeLevisticum officinalis (dg fo pf wp)7Press seed into surface of soil fall or spring and keep moist until germination, which takes from 1 to 3 weeks. Thin or transplant to 2 feet apart.The plant prefers full sun to part shade and moist garden soils.sun or partial shademoist100 eachHerbaceous perennial flowering from 4 to 7 feet tall.

The leaf stems and leaves, harvested fresh and chopped, make an agreeably aromatic potherb, especially nice to flavor potato-leek soup. The aerial parts may be dried and rubbed through a screen to create seasoning flakes that may be used throughout the winter.

The root of this tasty herb is proestrogenic, and may be used as a substitute for Dang-gui (Angelica sinensis), although Lovage is a milder medicine and not as potent in its activity. Still, the herb is well liked by the women folks, and gentle is good.
Insectiary
56PennyroyalLamiaceaeMentha pulegium (dg fo pf wp)2012-04-07 00:00:00520 each seeds in 8cc blocksplantDIVISION: Preferred propagation, as menthas cross readily and seed will not breed true reliably. Also, even in true M. pulegium, medicinal value differs widely between plants. Find the ones you like, and divide them to propagate clones. Divide any time of year. SEED: Sow spring in cold frame. Sow on surface in spring. Space plants 6 inches apart.Plant prefers moist garden soil, areas that puddle up and then go dry, the edge of a stream or ditch, or the margin of a pond. Grow in containers if the spreading habit of this plant makes you uncomfortable, but the rest of us let it go where it will, as it is self-limiting when it meets -- dry soil.sun or partial shadeseasonal floodingpoor100 eachHerbaceous or in warmer zones evergreen perennial native to Europe. One of the smallest of the mints, it creeps around in moist places and sends up its pretty flowering tops to a height of only about a foot, in the summer. Pennyroyal makes a bright tea that is well appreciated by many, but it should never be used during pregnancy.Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Carminative, Detergent, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogue, Fragrance, Insect Repellant, Insectiary, Sedative, Stimulant, Strewing, Uterine tonic
255Pollinator blend0 eachInsectiary, Ornamental
71Sunflower, Fat MamaAsteraceaeHelianthus annuus (dg fo pf wp)Direct seed in the garden after the soil has warmed up in the spring or early summer. Put sunflowers to the back, as they tend to block access if you put them right in front. You can plant scarlet emperor beans at the same time, and they will run up the stalks. Normally sunflowers are thinned to at least a foot between each plant, and the rows are spaced about 3 feet apart. The fat mama under the right conditions will grow to 9 feet tall.full sunmoist50 eachTall, single-flowered sunflowers with fat heads bearing striped seeds that are the best kind for eating and for feeding to birds. These can also be used for making sunflower oil.

This is one of the best oil plants that can be easily grown by gardeners in the temperate north. Native American peoples extracted the oil by boiling the seeds in large pots, whereupon the oil rose to the surface of the water and could be skimmed off. Think about it. How would you do in your household without cooking oil? It's an ancient commodity, and it behooves us to maintain the ability and the right to make our own.

Of course, all this reductionist information should be taken with a grain of salt -- you can just grow 1 sunflower if you want -- you don't have to put them in rows -- and you can plant them closer together or further apart if you want -- it doesn't matter too much -- and you may find that if you've got great sun and plenty of water and a fertile soil that they top out at 12 feet, or if the soil is poor, with scant water or in the shade, then they may never do too much at all, in which case it might be more productive to just eat the sprouts than to expect a big sunflower. But all in all, these are super duper easy to grow, a good subject for kid's gardens or the kid in all of us, and given reasonable conditions you can expect very impressive results!
Fat, ProteinPhosphorousFood, Forage, Insectiary, Ornamental
70Sunflower, Hopi Black Dye; Black Oil SunflowerAsteraceaeHelianthus annuus (dg fo pf wp)Horizon Herbs recommends direct-seeding in the spring. Plant a bit close at first, protect from crows, and eat the sprouts. Thin to 2 feet apart.90full sun30 each90-100 days to maturity. Generally single-headed although occasionally poly-headed, the plants are sturdy of stem and consistently dark black of seed. The ray flowers are golden yellow.

The seeds are used by Native Americans for dyeing wool and basketry. Imparts a color-fast light purple. Heirloom variety from Hopi Land, an oil, food, and dye plant that has its roots in ancient prehistory. One of the first domesticated plants, archaeological evidence points to the middle archaic period for the first human harboring of sunflower. The black seeded sunflowers are generally considered to be best for oil, while the striped sunflowers are considered to be best for direct consumption. However, I do admit that I ate the germ test! The seeds are very rich in oil. Native americans ground the seeds and boiled, then skimmed the oil. In native culture, vegetable oil is considered one of the most precious of substances. Also, the seeds are very good for eating, and the sprouts are potently delicious and healing to digestive woes.

Please plant Hopi black dye sunflowers -- this heirloom variety is endangered by all the new polyhead sunflowers that are being developed for selling as pretty flowers in farmer's markets. This one is just as pretty, and it is much more useful.
Fat, ProteinPhosphorousDye, Food, Forage, Insectiary, Oil, Ornamental
246Sunflowers, unknown varietyAsteraceaeHelianthus annuus (dg fo pf wp)Start seeds indoors mid-March or outdoors mid-April to mid-May. Plant 3 cm deep, 15 cm apart.Cultivated Beds;sun or partial shademoist0 eachFat, Phosphorous, ProteinFood, Insectiary, Oil, Ornamental
257Sweet WilliamCaryophyllaceaeDianthus barbatus (dg fo pf wp)14Seed: sow May/June in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer or autumn. The seed can also be sown thinly in an outdoor seedbed in late spring, the young plants being planted out in late spring or the autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame.

Division in September. 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.

Prefers a rich well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position, but succeeds in most soils including dry ones.

A very ornamental plant, its flowers are very attractive to butterflies and moths. The flowers have a strong clove-like scent.

Plants self-sow freely when grown in a suitable position.

Although the Sweet William is a perennial species, it is quite short-lived and degenerates after its second year. It is best treated as a biennial in the garden.


The flowers have a mild flavour and are used as a garnish for vegetable and fruit salads, cakes, desserts, cold drinks etc.
well drainedpoor0 eachInsectiary, Ornamental
75ValerianValerianaceaeValeriana officinalis (dg fo pf wp)10Seed is short-lived and should be sown within a year of receipt. Light dependent germinator. Sow in spring, tamped securely into surface, and keep evenly moist until germination, which occurs in 10 to 16 days. Seedling leaves look very un-valerian at first and some folks are confused. But have faith, in time the leaves will become divided and much more closely resemble the standard form of the plant. Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart.

Seed: sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer.

Division: in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.


A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in ordinary garden soil, preferring a rich heavy loam in a moist site. Thrives in full sun or in partial shade, doing well in light woodland.

A polymorphic species, the more extreme variations are given specific status by some botanists. Valerian is often grown in the herb garden and also sometimes grown commercially as a medicinal herb.

When grown for its medicinal root, the plant should not be allowed to flower. The flowers and the dried roots have a strong smell somewhat resembling stale perspiration. Cats are very fond of this plant, particularly the powdered root. Once a cat has discovered a plant they will often destroy it by constantly rolling over it.

The dried root also attracts rats and can be used as a bait in traps. A good companion for most plants.
730Valerian prefers full sun to part shade and moist but well-drained soils. I have seen excellent clumps form, during a wet spring, on the peak of a pile of ground pumice. However, regular garden soil amended with organic compost will do nicely. The plant adapts rather well to a wide range of conditions.sun or partial shademoistclay0 eachHerbaceous perennial. Native to Europe and temperate Asia.

One of the best phosphorous accumulators.

Probably the strongest herbal cerebral sedative, the plant makes one go to sleep. All parts of the plant are active, but it is the spreading root and root crown, dug and used fresh, that is most commonly used, and the tincture of the fresh root is the most common dosage form. However, I have gone to sleep after eating a salad that an unwitting apprentice had prepared using valerian leaves as an ingredient, and I've had multiple correspondences from folks that make tinctures out of the fresh flowers. Regardless of how you make the potion, it is well-known that Valerian does not work on everybody. Some folks are stimulated by it. However, most of us go to sleep under her influence.

Flowers white in the second year to a height of 5 feet or more. Some companies are slinging varieties of Valerian that they claim are medicinally superior to the standard European strain (which is what we grow). However, the standard strain is plenty good enough to do the job.

Valerian is a well-known and frequently used medicinal herb that has a long and proven history of efficacy. It is noted especially for its effect as a tranquilliser and nervine, particularly for those people suffering from nervous overstrain. Valerian has been shown to encourage sleep, improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc.

It should not be prescribed for patients with liver problems.

Externally, it is used to treat eczema, ulcers and minor injuries.

The active ingredients are called valepotriates, research has confirmed that these have a calming effect on agitated people, but are also a stimulant in cases of fatigue.

The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn once the leaves have died down and are used fresh or dried. The fresh root is about 3 times as effective as roots dried at 40°, whilst temperatures above 82° destroy the active principle in the root.

Use with caution, can lead to addiction.

The plant yields about 1% of an essential oil from the roots.

Seed is edible. An essential oil from the leaves and root is used as a flavouring in ice cream, baked goods, condiments etc. It is especially important in apple flavours. The leaves can also be used as a condiment. The plant is used in moderation as a herbal tea.

It is used in perfumery to provide a 'mossy' aroma, though the scent is considered to be disagreeable by many people. The dried roots are also placed in linen cupboards and clothes drawers in order to scent the clothes.

The dried root attracts rats and cats, it can be used as a bait to lure them away from other areas.

An ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The plant can also be used to make a very good liquid plant feed. It attracts earthworms. The leaves are very rich in phosphorus.
PhosphorousAntispasmodic, Beverage, Carminative, Compost, Diuretic, Essential, Flavouring, Fragrance, Hypnotic, Insectiary, Nervine, Sedative, Stimulant
77Vetch, KidneyFabaceaeAnthyllis vulneraria (dg fo pf wp)7Scarify the seed on medium sandpaper and sow in spring. An overnight soak will speed germination, which takes 1 to 3 weeks. Barely cover with soil, tamp well. Easy to sow in place, or if you like, sow in pots. Excellent for open garden, grasslands, rock gardens, or potted culture.

Seed: sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. If there is sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ. Pre-soak the seed for about 12 hrs or scarify the seed. It usually germinates in 1 -2 months at 10°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Division in spring or autumn.

Prefers a sunny position and an alkaline soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8. Prefers a sandy loam. Thrives in poor soils.

A rich food source for bees, butterflies and caterpillars.
This easy creeper fixes nitrogen and provides nectar for an extended time period from midspring through midsummer, and again, sometimes, with the fall rains.sun or partial shadepoor50 eachHerbaceous perennial native to Europe and flowering yellow to about 8 inches. Plant prefers full sun to part shade and calcerous soils or regular garden soils. I frequently see this growing in the wild on the Pacific Coast, and it is relatively famous for doing well around beaches, sea cliffs, etc.

With its soft and pretty, globular flowers and forgiving, slightly downy foliage, Kidney Vetch is a natural choice as an emollient treatment for the skin, and has been used as such since time immemorial. The plant may be poulticed, or dried and made into an infused oil and incorporated in that way into cosmetics, lotions, or salves. The plant detoxifies, and it soothes inflammations.

This plant is an ancient remedy for skin eruptions, slow-healing wounds, minor wounds, cuts and bruises, it is applied externally.

Internally, it is used as a treatment for constipation and as a spring tonic. The plant can be used fresh in the growing season, or harvested when in flower and dried for later use.

The dried flower heads are a tea substitute.
Boron, NitrogenAntitussive, Astringent, Beverage, Emollient, Insectiary, Laxative, Vulnerary
78Wilde Dagga; Wild Dagga; Lion’s Tail; Lion’s Ears; UmunyaneLamiaceaeLeonotus leonurus (dg fo pf wp)7Sow seeds in a flat or pot. Barely cover, tamp well, keep evenly moist, warm and in the light until germination, which occurs in 1 to 3 weeks. The seedlings are valuable and so normally not thinned -- grow at close spacing for a few weeks until the second set of true leaves has formed, then prick into pots, and then after they grow out a bit more, transplant outdoors to 3 feet apart. In cold weather areas, you may wish to keep this plant in potted culture.Plant prefers full sun to part shade and regular garden or wayside conditions. Since the stems can become quite woody, it holds up well to traffic and random abuse. Well-drained, slightly alkaline soils seem to be the best choice, although almost any soil will work as long as the summer is hot and long. The plant is quite drought tolerant. sun or partial shadedrought tolerantgarden30 eachHerbaceous perennial, may become a woody perennial in zone 8 and warmer. When growing in colder zones, these can be very late to re-emerge from the woody stumps of the previous year's growth. Flowers in the late season on multiple upright stalks, occuring as long-tubed, hairy appendages emerging from the globose, whorled orbs. Hummingbirds become frenzied around this plant, and I've had them fly in through the door of the greenhouse (and risk hitting their little heads) in order to repeatedly visit a single flower that was making an out-of-season display.

Easily one of the showiest medicinals of all time. Native to South Africa and planted in discriminating botanical gardens worldwide. When encountered on garden path, it is a breathtaker. Speaking of taking a breath, this is a smokeable euphoric, the dried leaves and buds being used throughout history by the native peoples of South Africa as a calming, reality shifting smoke. Decoction or tea of leaves and roots also used traditionally as an external wash against snakebite, other bites and stings (and believe me, in Africa, this is useful!), boils, eczema, skin diseases, itching, and muscular cramps. The same type of preparation is used internally for treating coughs, colds, influenza, bronchitis, high blood pressure and headaches. The plant is powerfully endowed with marrubiin and related compounds.

Please note: For a similar display (and entheogenic effect) in colder areas, choose "Cordao," (Leonotis nepetafolia) which is the annual counterpart of wilde dagga and also has a wide distribution in East and Southern Africa.
Analgesic, Antidepressant, Insectiary, Ornamental
80Wood Betony; WoundwortLamiaceaeStachys officinalis (dg fo pf wp)2013-04-27 00:00:00120 each seeds in 8cc blocksplant7Sow in the early spring. Standard greenhouse culture or direct seed. Barely cover seed, tamp well and keep evenly moist until germination, which occurs inb 1 to 3 weeks. Space 2 feet apart. Flowers from 2 to 3 feet tall.

Seed: sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer.

Division in spring. Very easy, the plant can be successfully divided at almost any time of the year. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Prefers a light moist neutral to acid soil in sun or light shade. A characteristic plant of healthy roadside banks on heavy soils. Hardy to at least -25°c. At one time bugle was often cultivated for its medicinal virtues, though it is now little used. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. An excellent bee plant.
sun or partial shademoistclay100 eachHerbaceous perennial, highly adaptable to lowland sites as well as gardens at altitude. Native to Europe and Russia. This moisture-loving plant is a clumper, making a lush mound that flowers in multiple upright racemes red-purple.

The tea or tincture of fresh leaf helps relieve acute or chronic pain.

Note from Richo: A truly stellar herb. We had to really dig to come up with the seeds back in the day. One of the best fresh tincture herbs for treating addiction -- the taste is so good that it can in and of itself become addictive! But that's a good thing. Nervine tonic against stresses of living in the good ol' USA.

Wood betony was at one time commonly used as a medicinal plant in the treatment of a wide range of disorders, especially as a nervine and tonic for treating maladies of the head and as an external application to wounds. It also stimulates the digestive system and the liver, having an overall tonic effect upon the body. Wood betony is much less used nowadays, and more often forms part of a mixture of herbs.

The whole plant is collected when in flower in the summer and can be dried for later use.

It is taken in the treatment of 'frayed nerves', pre-menstrual complaints, poor memory and tension. It can be taken in combination with herbs such as comfrey, Symphytum officinale, and lime flowers, Tilia species, to treat sinus headaches and congestion. Wood betony can be taken on its own, or with yarrow, Achillea millefolium, to staunch nosebleeds. A pinch of the powdered herb will provoke violent sneezing and it has been used as part of a herbal snuff mixture in the treatment of headaches. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant. It is used in the treatment of asthma and excessive perspiration.

A fine yellow dye is obtained from the leaves.

The leaves and flowering tops make a good tea substitute. Refreshing and aromatic, it has all the good qualities of tea without the negative ones.
Analgesic, Anthelmintic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Beverage, Carminative, Cathartic, Cholagogue, Digestive, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Homeopathy, Insectiary, Nervine, Sedative, Sternutatory, Tonic, Vulnerary

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