Tag: Herb Profile

Herb Profile: Shepherd’s Purse

Botanical Name: Capsella bursa-pastoris Common Names:  Shepherd’s Purse, Sanguinary, Pick Purse, Witches’ Pouches, Mother’s Heart (Scots), lus na fola – The Blood Herb (Gaelic), Family:  Brassicaceae Parts Used:  Aerial parts Botany & Identification: A variable annual or biennial plant with an erect main stem which grows from 3cm to 40cm depending on its conditions. The …

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Herb Profile: Juniper

Botanical name: Juniperus communis Common Names: Scots: aiten    Gaelic: aiteal, aiteann, aittin, samh Family: Cupressaceae – Cypress family Parts used: Dried ripe ‘berries’ Botany & Identification: Juniper is a slow growing evergreen shrub in the Cypress family growing on heaths, moors, rough grassland and dry woodlands. It can reach up to 3m and spreads up …

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Herb Profile: Irish Moss Seaweed

  Irish Moss Seaweed   Botanical Name: Chondrus crispus  Common Names:  Irish Moss, Carrageen, Hebridean Moss, Pearl Moss, Irlandisches Moos (German)  Family:  Gigartinaceae Parts Used: Dried Thallus (young shoots) Botany & Identification:  Irish Moss is a member of the division Rhodophyta (the red seaweeds), and is commonly found on rocky shorelines below and just above the …

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Herb Profile: Old Man’s Beard Lichen

Botanical Name: Usnea spp. Many similarly used species Common Names: Old Man’s Beard, Seaweed of the Mountain (Hawai’i), Fish Bone Beard Lichen, Tree Dandruff, Woman’s Long Hair Family: Usneaceae Parts Used: Whole Lichen Lichenology & Identification: Lichen are a symbiotic relationship between an algae and a fungus. The algae is able to photosynthesize and therefore …

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Herb Profile: Valerian

Botanical Name: Valeriana officinalis Family: Valerianaceae (Valerian Family) Common Names: All-Heal, Great Wild Valerian, Garden Heliotrope, Bloody Butcher, Cat’s Valerian, Sete Wale (Set Well), Sumbul-ul-tib (Farsi) Identification: Valerian is a highly variable species with 3 subspecies. It is a stately perennial growing to 1.5m with opposite, odd-pinnate leaves, each with 1-12 leaflets. Dense pink flower …

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Herb Profile: Nettle

Botanical Names: Urtica dioica, Urtica urens Family: Urticaceae (Nettle Family), formerly Cannabinaceae (Cannabis Family) Common Names: Nettle, Stinging Nettle. U.urens –Dwarf Nettle, Small Nettle, Dog Nettle Identification: Cordate leaves which taper to a point and are toothed. Green flowers in long, branched clusters spring from the leaf axils. Urtica dioica is ‘dioecious’ meaning individuals are …

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Herb Profile: Elder

Botanical Name: Sambucus nigra L. Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family) Common Names: Elder Tree; Common, Black or European Parts Used: Flowers, Berries, Leaves Identification: The Elder is a deciduous shrub or a small tree, which can grow up to 10m tall. It is very common across Europe, and is now found in most temperate regions. Leaves …

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Herb Profile: Self Heal

Botanical Name: Prunella vulgaris Family: Lamiaceae  (Mint Family) Common Names: Self Heal, All Heal, Sicklewort, Hook Heal, Carpenter’s Herb, Pickpocket, Poverty Pink, Heart o’ the Earth Identification: A sparsely downy perennial herb with creeping runners and erect flower stems to 20cm tall. Not aromatic. Leaves are decussate, stalked, oval, widest at the base. Infloresence in …

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Herb Profile: Sweet Cicely

  Botanical Name: Myrrhis odorata Family: Apiaceae Common names: British Myrrh, Anise, Sweet Chervil,  Smooth Cicely, Sweet Bracken, Sweet-Fern, The Roman Plant, Sweets Identification: A perennial with feathery leaves growing to 1m. In May and June it holds characteristic umbels of creamy white flowers, and it’s seeds ripen from July to August. This species is …

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Herb Profile: Hawthorn

Botanical Names: Crataegus monogyna, C. laevigata, C. media Family: Rosaceae Common Names: The May Tree, May Blossom, Quickthorn, Haegthorn, White Thorn, Bread and Cheese Tree Identification: There are two species of Hawthorn native to Britain – the Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), and the Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata), though the two often hybridise (C. x media) …

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