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What to Take with You

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What to Take with You

 

Herbs

According to the 2007–2011 management plan of 'Dilijan' National Park, there are 977 plants in the park flora, 54 of which are herbs. Here are the descriptions of some of them:

 

Tussilago farfara    

 

Tussilago farfara, commonly known as Coltsfoot, is a plant in the family Asteraceae that has traditionally had medicinal uses. The name "tussilago" itself means "cough suppressant".

Coltsfoot is a perennial herbaceous plant that spreads by seeds and rhizomes. Tussilago is often found in colonies of dozens of plants. The flowers, which superficially resemble dandelions, appear in early spring before dandelions appear. The leaves, which resemble a colt's foot in cross section, do not appear usually until after the seeds are set. Thus, the flowers appear on stems with no apparent leaves, and the later appearing leaves then wither and die during the season without seeming to set flowers. The plant is typically between 10 – 30 cm in height.

 

Leonurus cardiaca

 

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a herbaceous perennial plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Other common names include Throw-wort, Lion's Ear, and Lion's Tail. Lion's Tail also being a common name for Leonotis leonurus, and Lion's Ear, a common name for Leonotis nepetifolia. Originally from Central Asia it is now found worldwide, spread largely due to its use as a herbal remedy.

L. cardiaca has a square stem and opposite leaves. The leaves have serrated margins and are palmately lobed with long petioles; basal leaves are wedge shaped with three points and while the upper leaves are more latticed. Flowers appear in leaf axils on the upper part of the plant and it blooms between June–August. The flowers are small, pink to lilac in colour often with furry lower lips. The plant grows to about 60–100 cm in height. It can be found along roadsides and in vacant fields and other disturbed areas. This plant prefers well drained soil and a partly shady location.

 

Taraxacum officinale

Taraxacum officinale, otherwise known as dandelion, grows from generally unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are typically 5 to 40 cm tall, but sometimes up to 70 cm tall. The stems can be tinted purplish, they are upright or lax, and produce flower heads that are held as tall or taller than the foliage. The foliage is upright-growing or horizontally orientated; the leaves have petioles that are either unwinged or narrowly winged. The stems can be glabrous or sparsely covered with short hairs. Plants have milky latex and the leaves are all basal; each flowering stem lacks bracts and has one single flower head. The yellow flower heads lack receptacle bracts and all the flowers, which are called florets, are ligulate. The fruits are mostly produced by apomixis.

 The leaves are 5 to 45 cm long and 1 to 10 cm wide, and are oblanceolate, oblong, or obovate in shape, with the bases gradually narrowing to the petiole. The leaf margins are typically shallowly lobed to deeply lobed and often lacerate or toothed with sharp or dull teeth.

 

Plantago Major

 

Plantago major is an herbaceous perennial plant with a rosette of leaves 15–30 cm in diameter.

Each leaf is oval-shaped, 5–20 cm long and 4–9 cm broad, rarely up to 30 cm long and 17 cm broad, with an acute apex and a smooth margin; there are five to nine conspicuous veins. The flowers are small, greenish-brown with purple stamens, produced in a dense spike 5–15 cm long on top of a stem 13–15 cm tall (rarely to 70 cm tall).

Plaintain is wind-pollinated, and propagates primarily by seeds, which are held on the long, narrow spikes which rise well above the foliage.Each plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds, which are very small and oval-shaped, with a bitter taste.

 

 Hypericum perforatum 

 Hypericum perforatum is a perennial plant with extensive, creeping rhizomes. Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high. It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves that are 12 mm long or slightly larger. The leaves are yellow-green in color, with transparent dots throughout the tissue and occasionally with a few black dots on the lower surface.Leaves exhibit obvious translucent dots when held up to the light, giving them a ‘perforated’ appearance, hence the plant's Latin name.

 Its flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and are colored bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The flowers appear in broadcymes at the ends of the upper branches, between late spring and early to mid summer. The sepals are pointed, with glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are united at the base into three bundles. The pollen grains are ellipsoidal.When flower buds (not the flowers themselves) or seed pods are crushed, a reddish/purple liquid is produced.