Tag Archives: Medicinal plants

Today John the Farmer is saving seeds of Marigold !

Marigold (Tagetes patula) seeds
Marigold (Tagetes patula) flowers

Tagetes patula is native to Guatumala and Mexico. The flowers are used to add to poultry feed to intensify the color of egg yolk. The essential oil is used in perfumery. It is also used as a pesticide, grown alongside vegetables to fumigate for nematodes. It is used as a saffron-like spice.

The bright flowers of Marigold are also used in the festival of the Day of the Dead in Mexico. They are said to guide the spirits of the departed to their friends and loved ones.

Arum Lily, Zantedeschia. Feature plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Zantedeschia ‘Picassso’ hybrid.

Arum lillies are native to Southern Africa but are cultivated world wide for their long lasting blooms.

It is dormant or evergreen depending on habitat or location. It remains evergreen under cultivation, given plenty of water in a free-draining substrate.

They make good bedding plants, spaced 15cm apart.

The tubers were boiled and fed to pigs, hence the Afrikaans name ‘Varkoor’.

The common white variety Zantedeschia aethiopica is medicinal. The warmed leaves used a poultice to treat sores, boils, insect bites, gout and rheumatism.

The Wilde dagga, Leonotus ocymifolia, attracts sunbirds to the allotment.

I managed to finally capture the Malachite sunbird feeding .

The plant is used medicinally for the symptomatic treatment of coughs in acute bronchial disease, high blood preasure, headaches, asthma and viral hepatitis.

Tongue-leafed mesemb. Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

tongblaar

Tongue-leafed mesemb, Glottiphyllum longum with seed pods or fruit capsules. this species flowers in autumn in the western cape, little karoo region.

The highly succulent leaves are oblong and slightly flattened. Stems are not normally visible and the plant exhibits clump-forming growth as opposed to trailing.

Very hardy.

Aloe ferox tapping in the Little Karoo.

Tapping

Aloe tappers near Calitzdorp in the Little Karoo arrange the cut aloe leaves in a ring around a depression in the ground lined with plastic. Aloin sap flows from the aloe leaves and is collected in the plastic. It is then boiled and reduced to a resinous form taken as a laxative and for arthritis.

Leonotus leonurus – Wild dagga. Featured plant at Towerkop Nursery.

Leonotus

Leonotus, also known as wild dagga, a reference to the mild psychoactive properties of the plant. This popular garden shrub is widepread in South Africa and in addition to it’s many medicinal properties attracts sunbirds to it’s bright orange inflorescences.

Calpurnia aurea – Yellow keurboom. featured tree at Towerkop Nursery.

Calpurnia1

Calpurnia aurea¬†being attended to by a pollinator. This small evergreen tree is indigenous to the eastern cape, natal and gauteng provinces of South Africa. It grows to 4m. It is fast growing and produces yellow pea-like flowers from 2yrs, making it the ideal ‘instant’ tree. It can be pruned into a compact shape and is frost tolerant.

Helichrysum cymosum – Feature plant at Towerkop Nursery.

cymosumcymosum1

Helichrysum cymosum 

Related to everlastings, this perrenial shrub volunteered on the allotment at Towerkop nursery. It grows to a metre high and flowers profusely from spring well into summer.

Occurs naturally on sandy slopes in damp places from the southwestern cape to Mpumalanga.

Tecoma flowering now at Towerkop Nursery.

Tecoma

This popular garden shrub attracts birds and butterflies to it’s tubular flowers, especially sunbirds!

It makes an effective hedge when trimmed but bushes out if left natural. Farmer’s encourage it’s growth along fences where it is kept in check by grazing animals.

Also called Cape honeysuckle, it is widely cultivated and very easy to propagate from cuttings or root suckers or runners.

It likes semi-shade to full sun, is drought tolerant and should be pruned back in late winter to encourage new growth.

The species occurs naturally in South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s award of garden merit.

Plant with Plumbago.

 

Stapelia gariepensis – Flowering now at Towerkop Nursery.

stapelia

Found in stony places and drier areas of the Karoo and Namaqualand in South Africa. The starfish-like flowers mimic the odour of rotting flesh, to attract the carrion flies that pollinate them.

Nice to look at though !

seedpod

Seedpod and seeds of Stapelia gariepensis.