Filed under Plants
Filed under Plants
The Japanese cultivar Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Fukurokuryuzinboku’ is a strange monstrous form and a very rare and priced collector item. Its vernacular English names “Breast Cactus” or “Titty Cactus” comes from the particular shape of the tubercled ribs that resemble women breasts.
This plant – apart from the breasts – is similar in all other features to the common “Blue Candle” and can grow up to 4.5 m tall, with the crown reaching up to 5 m in width.
Stems: Glaucous (blue grey) Up to 3 -10 cm thick. They have 5-8 strange chinned ribs, shaped like a woman’s breast that are approximately 2.5 cm in depth with areoles about 3-5 cm apart. Each monstrous ribs is bordered with irregularly pleaded longitudinal groves .
Spines: Each areole has approx to 4 small black spines, that are usually only a few mm long. But plants grown in full sun may have longer on stouter spines up to 2 cm long thought not awful.
Also see Male Erotic Cactus
Buddha’s hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, or the fingered citron, is an unusually shaped citron variety whose fruit is segmented into finger-like sections, resembling a human hand.
The different cultivars and variations of this citron variety form a gradient from “open-hand” types with outward-splayed segments to “closed-hand” types, in which the fingers are kept together. The origin of this kind of citron is commonly traced back to the Far East, probably northeastern India or China, where most domesticated citrus fruits originate from.
The Buddha’s hand is a distinct fruit in the citron family. It has a sweet, lemon blossom aroma. Its flesh is void of juice, pulp and seeds, rendering it inedible. The culinary virtues lie within its oily rind which is powerfully fragrant and aromatic and utilized for its zesting properties. The mild-tasting pith is not bitter, so the fruit can be zested or used whole. Buddha’s hand fruit is very fragrant and is used predominantly in China and Japan for perfuming rooms and personal items such as clothing.
The fruit may be given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples. According to tradition, Buddha prefers the “fingers” of the fruit to be in a position where they resemble a closed rather than open hand, as closed hands symbolize to Buddha the act of prayer. In China, the Buddha’s hand fruit is a symbol of happiness, longevity and good fortune. It is also a traditional temple offering and a New Year’s gift.
The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack) is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family (Moraceae) and a relative to the breadfruit.
It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of India.
A jackfruit is a huge, spined, oval fruit that is believed to have been first cultivated in Indian rainforests. It’s mostly grown in tropical climates, and is the largest fruit in the world, weighing up to 80 pounds (about 36 kg) with a length of up to 3 feet (0.91 m).
Though it has a notoriously bad smell when ripening, the flesh and the seeds of the fruit are edible. Since it’s an acquired taste, the fruit isn’t much of a cash crop, but some people do like to serve it in desserts and curries. It’s also the national fruit of Bangladesh.
The exterior of the fruit is not edible, but the flesh and seeds are commonly eaten. When outside has turned from green to yellow, it is ready to be picked.
Jackfruit tends to be an acquired taste and frequently does not appeal to those unfamiliar with it. The ripening fruits have an odor that has been compared to the smell of rotting onions. This often discourages people from trying the interior.
Each fruit contains numerous sweet, banana-like bulbs that many people find delicious. One variety has a crunchy, rather than mushy, texture and is generally preferred. The seeds can be roasted and are compared to chestnuts in flavor. Cutting and preparing the flesh is tricky, because the fruit is very sticky and can actually be used as glue.
Jackfruit’s popularity varies in different countries, but in most places, the fruit is either cooked with rice or eaten raw. Many people don’t wait for the fruit to ripen but prepare it when it is still relatively small, unripe, and crunchy. In India, it’s eaten raw or used in curries, soups, and stews. It is also used in various deserts and is a common ingredient in fruit salads.
Image credit: http://sustainableways.blogspot.com/
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia, South India and most Pacific Ocean islands. It is also grown in the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands of the Caribbean and in Africa. Its name is derived from the texture of the cooked moderately ripe fruit, which has a potato-like flavor, similar to freshly baked bread.
Breadfruit trees grow to a height of 25 m (82 ft). The large and thick leaves are deeply cut into pinnate lobes. All parts of the tree yield latex, a milky juice. Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more grapefruit-sized fruits per season. In the South Pacific, the trees yield 50 to 150 fruits per year. In southern India, normal production is 150 to 200 fruits annually.
Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical regions. The trees were propagated far outside their native range by Polynesian voyagers who transported root cuttings and air-layered plants over long ocean distances. Breadfruit are very rich in starch, and before being eaten, they are roasted, baked, fried or boiled. When cooked, the taste of moderately ripe breadfruit is described as potato-like, or similar to freshly baked bread. Very ripe breadfruit becomes sweet, as the starch converts to sugar.
Filed under Plants
Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume known as velvet bean, native to Africa and Asia and widely naturalized. The plant is notorious for the extreme itchiness it produces on contact (this is where the name “cow itch” comes from), particularly with the young foliage and the seed pods. It has value in agricultural and horticultural use and has a range of medicinal properties.
Mucuna pruriens (Cow itch, Bengal bean, Velvet bean) – sexy velvet penises
The plant M. pruriens, widely known as “velvet bean,” is a vigorous annual climbing legume originally from southern China and eastern India, where it was at one time widely cultivated as a green vegetable crop. It is one of the most popular green crops currently known in the tropics; velvet beans have great potential as both food and feed as suggested by experiences worldwide. The velvet bean has been traditionally used as a food source by certain ethnic groups in a number of countries. It is cultivated in Asia, America, Africa, and the Pacific Islands, where its pods are used as a vegetable for human consumption, and its young leaves are used as animal fodder.
The plant has long, slender branches; alternate, lanceolate leaves; and white flowers with a bluish-purple, butterfly-shaped corolla. The pods or legumes are hairy, thick, and leathery; averaging 4 inches long; are shaped like violin sound holes; and contain four to six seeds. They are of a rich dark brown color, and thickly covered with stiff hairs.
When the plant is young, it is almost completely covered with fuzzy hairs, but when older, it is almost completely free of hairs.
In the fruit ripening stage, a 4 to 13 cm-long, 1 to 2 cm-wide, unwinged, leguminous fruit develops. There is a ridge along the length of the fruit. The husk is very hairy and carries up to seven seeds. The seeds are flattened uniform ellipsoids, 1 to 1.9 cm long, 0.8 to 1.3 cm wide and 4 to 6.5 cm thick.
M.pruriens bears white, lavender, or purple flowers. Its seed pods are about 10 cm long and are covered in loose, orange hairs that cause a severe itch if they come in contact with skin. The chemical compounds responsible for the itch are a protein, mucunain and serotonin. The seeds are shiny black or brown drift seeds.
Mucuna pruriens (Fabaceae) is an established herbal drug used for the management of male infertility, nervous disorders, and also as an aphrodisiac. It has been shown that its seeds are potentially of substantial medicinal importance. The ancient Indian medical system, Ayurveda, traditionally used M. pruriens, even to treat such things as Parkinson’s disease. M. pruriens has been shown to have anti-parkinson and neuroprotective effects, which may be related to its anti-oxidant activity. Velvet Bean Extract contains 15% L-Dopa which is the immediate precursor of Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that promotes enjoyment and interest in life.
Filed under Plants
Magnolia is an ancient genus named after French botanist Pierre Magnol.
Antirrhinum is a genus of plants commonly known as snapdragons or dragon flowers, from the flowers’ fancied resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed. They are native to rocky areas of Europe, the United States, and North Africa.
Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth, is a cosmopolitan genus of annual or short-lived perennial plants.
Known to the Aztecs as huauhtli, it is thought to have represented up to 80% of their caloric consumption before the conquest. Another important use of amaranth throughout Mesoamerica was to prepare ritual drinks and foods.
Because of its importance as a symbol of indigenous culture, its gluten-free palatability, ease of cooking, and a protein that is particularly well-suited to human nutritional needs, interest in grain amaranth revived in the 1970s. It was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties and is now commercially cultivated. It is a popular snack sold in Mexico, sometimes mixed with chocolate or puffed rice, and its use has spread to Europe and parts of North America.
Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, and ornamental plants. The root of mature amaranth is a popular vegetable. It is white and cooked with tomatoes or tamarind gravy. It has a milky taste and is alkaline. In China, the leaves and stems are used as a stir-fry vegetable, or in soups. A traditional food plant in Africa, amaranth has the potential to improve nutrition.
Amaranth greens are a common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. Amaranth seeds contain lysine, an essential amino acid, limited in other grains or plant sources. Amaranth may be a promising source of protein to those who are gluten sensitive, because unlike the protein found in grains such as wheat and rye, its protein does not contain gluten.
Filed under Plants
Bob Carter spotted the tree at Chanterlands Avenue Cemetery, Hull, England (UK).