Grow Your Own Herb Garden
In the first Workshop on Seeds held in Jerusalem in 1980, the plenary speaker was the late Michael Evenari. He presented an absorbing, scholarly account of the history of seed germination, including many references to observations printed in biblical, early Greek and early Roman documents (Evenari, 1980 81). He proposed Theophrastus (372-287 bc) as being the first all-round botanist known to us, and the first seed physiologist and ecologist. Some of the writings of Theophrastus bear restatement. On seed development he wrote that 'all plant seed has in itself a certain amount of nourishment which is produced with it at the beginning just as in the case of eggs'. On germination behaviour 'Germination begins earlier in sunny places which have an even temperature.' On after-ripening 'Another thing which makes a difference as to the rapidity with which seeds germinate is their age for some herbs come up quicker from fresh seeds . . . some come up quicker from old seeds.' On storage 'No...
For a small subset of epiphytes in deep evergreen forests, an optical phenomenon purportedly promotes shade tolerance. Some aroids and gesner-iads, as well as the bromeliads Aechmea fulgens, Nidularium bruchellii (Fig. 4.2 5G), and several species of Vriesea and Tillandsia, possess abaxial mirrors which are thought to reflect unabsorbed photons back into overlying chlorenchyma (Lee, Lowry, and Stone 1979). Similar cyanic epidermal layers are fairly common among low-growing herbs in the same forests. Maroon to red backing is most appropriate, given the long-wavelength enrichment as well as overall depletion of light passing through dense overhead foliage. Not surprisingly, the bicolored leaves of such plants usually grow horizontally with minimal overlap (Fig. 2.17)- more about this later. Essentially monolayered Nidularium bruchellii exhibits a faint bluish-green irridescence reminiscent of the thin-film optical interference phenomenon reputedly responsible for greater relative...
The terms herb and spice are popular terms for plants or plant products that are used as flavorings or scents (e.g., spices and culinary herbs), drugs (e.g., medicinal herbs), and less frequently as perfumes, dyes, and stimulants. Many herbs and spices are edible but may be distinguished from fruits and vegetables by their lack of food value, as measured in calories. Unlike fruits and vegetables, their usefulness has less to do with their primary metabolites (e.g., sugars and proteins) than with their secondary metabolites (compounds commonly produced to discourage pathogens and predators). The distinct flavors and smells of spices and culinary herbs are usually due to essential oils, while the active components of medicinal herbs also include many kinds of steroids, alkaloids, and glycosides. Most plants referred to as herbs or spices contain many different secondary compounds.
Sandverbenas are attractive, low-growing herbs with pink-purple to lavender, fragrant flowers forming clusters or heads which cover the plants. Desert species are conspicuous in the springtime when they line roadsides and carpet open, sandy locations, such as dry streambeds, with a mass of purple. Although they are often found in solid patches, they frequently intermingle with other spring flowers such as the bladderpod producing a gay pattern of color.
Baker et al. 83 reported that a few plants in the genera Thlaspi and Cardaminopsis in the Brassicaceae family are capable of accumulating Zn to 1.0 (dry weight). Several other Thlaspi species isolated from lead zinc-mineralized soils in central European countries have been reported with up to 2 Zn in leaf tissue 85 . High Cu concentrations (up to 13,700 g g-1) have been measured in leaf tissue of Aeollanthus biformifolius De Wild. (Lamiaceae), a dwarf perennial herb endemic to the southern part of Zaire 86 . Baker and Brooks 84 have identified 26 hyperaccu-mulator plants for Co ( 1000 g g-1), all of which are native to Zaire. The majority are slow growing herbs in a range of families including Lamiaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Asteraceae, and Fabaceae 83 . Baker et al. 83 reported that the highest Co concentration measured in a hyper-accumulator was 10, 200 g g-1 in Haumaniastrum robertii (Robyns) Duvign. Et Plancke (Lami-aceae).
In the Lesser Himalayas, Acacia modesta, A catechu, Aesculus indica, Bauhinia variegata, Berberis lycium, Broussonetia papyrifera, Carissa opaca, Celtis caueasica, Cotinus coggyria, Dalbergia sissoo, Debergeasia saeneb, Diospyros lotus, Dodonaea viscosa, Ficus variegata, F. auriculata, Grewia optiva, Juglans regia, Justicia adh-atoda, Mallotus phillipensis, Melia azedarach, Morus spp., Myrsine africana, Olea ferruginea, Pinus roxburghii, Pistacia chinensis, Populus alba, Prunus spp., Punica granatum, Pyrus spp., Quercus leuctrichophora, Q. incana, Salix tetrasperma, Segertia brandrethina, Woodfordia fruticosa, and Zizyphus jujuba, are used as fuelwood. Some herbs, such as Cannabis sativa and Zea mays, are also used for ignition when dry.
Among the commonest but must beautiful and delicate of desert flowering plants are the evening-primroses. Flowers are usually large, with the four petals either white or yellow, turning to red or pink with age. Many species are low-growing herbs with large, delicate petals while others may be shrublike, sometimes attaining a height of 5 feet. As the name implies, the flowers open in the evening and wilt soon after sunrise.
Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?