User:Jadeapple/Odonata Fen/Richters Trip April, 21st 2008

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Here are the plants and seed I picked up on this trip.


Andrographis paniculata


(Kalmegh) In Scandinavia this is now the main herb used to fight the common cold, flu, and upper respiratory infections. Clinical trials have shown that this herb really works and many believe that it is better than echinacea. Like echinacea, it works by boosting the immune system, helping the body to battle infections and to prevent them from reoccurring in the future. But it does more: it has adaptogen-like properties, it has anticancer activity, it is a bitter tonic, and it is an antioxidant that has been shown to protect the liver. In China and India the plant is commonly used to treat a wide range of infections such as gastrointestinal complaints, hepatitis, herpes, and throat infections. In short this is one amazing medicinal herb! Easy to grow annual and easy to use.

Don't really know a heck of a lot about this plant. It caught my eye because of it's medicinal properties and that it's supposedly easy to grow. Some more info is here [1]


Agastache foeniculum

Perennial (hardy in zones 4-9)

This is a native plant with numerous uses. Attractive honey plant; produces abundant nectar which yields a light fragrant honey. Strongly anise-scented; delightful for tea or as culinary seasoning. Showy purple flowers. Anise hyssop has been used by North American First Nations people as a breath-freshener, as a tea and as a sweetener. An infusion of the herb was used for chest pains, and the roots were used for coughs. Agastache is used in Chinese prescriptions for heatstroke, headache, fever, and angina. Leaves are used as poultices for sores. It is used in dried flower arrangement, and the essential oils are used in perfumes and aromatherapy.

Anise hyssop is found mostly in moist, open woods, along streams and lakeshores, and in wet ditches and prairies. It prefers sandy, moist, well-drained loam, in full sun or very light shade. The pH should be 6 - 6.5. It requires lots of moisture, and wilts if it is too hot. Its natural distribution is from BC across the prairies (in MB north to the Porcupine Mountains) and into western Ontario and the adjacent states. It has been introduced into northeastern North America.

I got this for it's multiple uses both culinary and medicinal. We do plan to get bees at some point so would like to get it established. It attracts pollinators so it may be useful in a guild. I'm going to try it out as a fourth in the 'Three Sisters Guild' of corn, beans and squash. I read that this traditional First Nations guild had a fourth sister in the south. The Anazaii planted something called a 'bee plant' which attracted pollinators (bees) at the same time the squash and beens plants were blooming. Well 'bee plant' doesn't survive this far north so I'm going to find a good northern 'fourth sister'. This is one I'm going to try.


Lots of basil to plant with the tomatoes. They grow well together in terms of 'needs' and the basil provides pest and disease protection to the tomato. Basil and tomatoes also are culinary partners. They just go well together. I also luv, luv, luv fresh pesto.

Genovese Basil

Ocimum basilicum Genovese

Leaf-leaf type from the Genoa area of Italy, the pesto capital of the world.

Big leaves that are easy to pick and cut for food use. They also freeze well

Lesbos Basil

Ocimum 'Lesbos'


A most unusual scented basil. The fragrance defies description: it’s spicy, of cinnamon, allspice and cloves; it’s floral; and even citrusy -- all packed in one plant! Good in salads, pestos, breads and herbed oils and butters. Stately columnar growth habit reaching 1m/40”.

There are so many different types to choose from. This one seemed a little unique so I thought I'd give it a go. It's sitting on the kitchen table right now and the whole room smells amazing.




Exceptionally handsome aromatic herbs with showy whorled flowers in various shades of red, pink, and purple. The fragrance of the common variety resembles that of the tropical tree orange bergamot, hence its name. Also known as bee balm, for bees and hummingbirds are constant visitors. Citrus-scented leaves and flowers make a pleasant, soothing tisane. Young leaf tips and flowers improve appearance and taste of salads.

Monarda didyma

Marshalls Delight

Pink. Superb mildew-resistant strain developed in Canada. Ht. 70 cm/28; hardy to zone 3.

Wild Bergamot

Monarda fistulosa

Lavender flowers; strong fragrance. Used for tea and for flavouring meat. Frequently seen along roadsides in eastern Canada and U.S.

Bee Balm is one of my favorite plants. It's multi-use. I've used it for tea before but I didn't realize that the leaves were also good in salads. I also just learn that we do have a native species 'fistulosa' and that it has long been traditionally used by FN's as a seasoning for fish and game, as well as eaten for food and medicine. I did plant a couple of cultivers of 'didyma' last fall. I picked up the Marshalls delight to see if there was a difference in terms of mildew then these and with the Wild Bergamot. I bought seed for the Wild Bergamot because I'm going to want a bunch of them and it's easy to germinate. I'm going to try it out as a 'fourth sister and also as part of my tomato guild.


Arctium lappa 'Takinogawa Long'

(Japanese burdock) Japanese vegetable with powerful medicinal properties. Slender, smooth-skinned roots up to 1m/40” long have a delightful oyster-like flavour similar to salsify, but stronger. Peel, slice, and cook 30 minutes, drain and cook again for 10 minutes. Season with butter, salt and herbs and serve. Japanese research shows that this variety has potent anti-tumour effects. Commonly used as a blood purifier.

This one is a little crazy and quite least my husband thinks so. We do have a introduced (but basically native now) invasive weed burdock here. It's really annoying when it goes to seed...the burrs stick on EVERYTHING. It's one of those love hate things for me, because I am fully aware of it's medicinal uses and have wildcrafted it before. I had to clear a bunch away from the new garden bed and the things scratched my arms and legs and got all stuck in my hair and clothes and bits of burdock are now all over my house. This drive my husband batty so when I arrived home and showed him the seed of all the stuff I am going to plant his reaction to this packet of seed was --- you're going to PLANT IT NOW!!! Hee hee.

I've bought 'gobo' before in a japanese market and it's pretty decent tasting. It's also really good for you. It's a biennial and you harvest it the first year, so there is no issue with it reseeding like crazy. That's the same with the weedy burdock. When it's in seed it's no good. I did a comparison between the Gobo and the wild stuff and the Gobo is better imo to actually eat on a regular basis, like you wood a potato. It also stores better. So I figure that I'm going to try it out this year because if the growth of the wild burdock is any indication my place is perfect for it.

Butterfly Pea

Clitoria ternatea

Annual climber, reaching 4m/15ft, with very showy bright dark blue flowers with lighter markings. Seeds and roots are used in India as a purgative; roots also as a cathartic and diuretic.

I got this one mainly because it's supposed to grow like crazy and I like vines. I'm planting some perennial vines this year that take longer to establish. This one is recommended as a quick fix while the others are growing. It's also seems pretty and I do have a thing for flowery vines that grow up and over things like my deck. I will collect the seed and roots and try out it's medicinal uses as well.

Sweet Cicely

'Myrrhis odorata'

Perennial (hardy in zones 3-7)

Sugar saver. Sweet, anise-scented leaves and stalks (fresh or dried) add delightful flavour to sweets and desserts, saving about half the sugar. Of particular interest to diabetics.

I like sweet, but lots of sugar isn't good for you. Hence this plant. It does work. It also grow in shady areas, so I think it would make a good 'herb layer' in guild. I'm got one plant to try and will likly plant it under the weeping willing in the front yard.

Dragon’s Blood Clover

Trifolium repens 'Dragon’s Blood

Was Godzilla slain on a field of clover? This striking clover from Japan has green and white variegated leaves splattered with what looks for all the world like blood-red droplets on each leaf. On a less gory note, this species was once used by the Delaware and Cherokee Indians to treat colds, fevers and coughs. Excellent ground cover for sun or partial shade. Ht. 13cm/5”.

This is one plant I'm pretty excited about.... TO BE CONTINUED