School Science Lessons
Food Gardens 7 - Herbs
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Herbs Information and Websites
Table of contents
3.7.0 Plant families, Acoraceae to Zingiberaceae (monocotyledons).
Family Acoraceae, Calamus family
Sweet flag (Acorus calamus), calamus, sweet
cane, jerangau, bach, vacha, herbacious perennial, symbol of love, said to be aphrodisiac,
solid spadix said to represent penis from one side of triangular flower stems, small crowded green-yellow flowers, up to 75 cm,
deciduous, grow in wet ground or in pot with saucer under to retain moisture, few culinary uses, banned as human food or food additive
by United States Food and Drug Administration, | Asarone: 184.108.40.206 | Eugenol: 220.127.116.11 |
Methylisogenol | ancient popular herbal medicine
and Ayurvedic medicine, used rhizomes to treat intestinal problems, holy anointing oil (Exodus 30: 23), hallucinogenic, used as
incense-strewing and thatching herb, ornamental pond plant, Northern Hemisphere, India, Acoraceae.
Dried herb sold as root pieces or root powder.
Japanese sweet flag (Acorus gramineus), grassy-leaved sweet flag, grassy clumps of yellow or cream striped leaves,
| Methoxycinnamaldehyde | Acoraceae.
Variegated sweet flag (Acorus gramineus variegatus), up to 20 cm, striped
leaves, hardy border plant, Acoraceae.
Sweet flag, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Dried herb sold as root.
Amaryllis family, e.g. agapanthus, amaryllis, daffodil, narcissus, snowdrop
Allium species, Amaryllidaceae.
Allium species: | Diallyl sulfide | Dimethyl sulfide | Dipropyl sulfide | Methyl allyl didulfide | Flavouring agent S-(Prop-1-enyl)cysteine
sulfoxide, C6H11NO3S, reacts with allinase, in cut or bruised Allium species to form lachrymatory propanthiol S-oxide, C3H6OS,
causing tears to flow. |
Leek (Allium ampeloprasum), giant garlic, national vegetable of Wales, | Propane-1-thiol | Amaryllidaceae.
Onion (Allium cepa), common onion, bulb onion, spring onion, Amaryllidaceae.
Dried herb sold as bulb flakes and bulb powder.
Red onion cultivars | Cyanidin | Flavonoids | Amaryllidaceae.
Scallion (Allium cepa var. cepa), spring onion, table onion, harvest before bulbs form | Alliin | Diallyl disulfide | Phloroglucinol |
Propane-1-thiol | Propanethial S-oxide | Amaryllidaceae.
Shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum), eschalot, Amaryllidaceae.
Chinese scallions (Allium chinense), rakkyo, Chinese onion, Asian cooking, folk medicine, Amaryllidaceae.
Chinese scallions, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm
Bunching onion (Allium fistulosum), Japanese bunching onion, Welsh onion, long green onion, spring onion, escallion, perennial, no bulbs,
hollow leaves, Asian cuisine, miso soup, ornamental, Amaryllidaceae.
Tree onion (Allium x proliferum), topsetting onions, walking onions, or Egyptian onions,
perennial, bulblets instead of flowers may sprout
and dip down the stalk to cause plant to "walk" (hybrid: common onion X Welsh onion), Amaryllidaceae.
Rocambole (Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon), serpent garlic, sand leek, used as garlic, | Alliin | Diallyl disulfide | Diallyl sulfide |
Dimethyl trisulfide | ornamental, Amaryllidaceae.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum), onion chives, perennial, up to 30 cm, grow in clumps, edging plants, grow in containers, insect pest
repellent, companion plant, cut soft leaves often, leaves and pom-pom flowers edible, mild onion flavour, store in freezer, culinary uses,
scrambled eggs, leaves in salads, meats, sandwiches, cream cheese, Hong Kong dumplings "dow choi", herbal medicine, rich in
vitamins and minerals, Amaryllidaceae.
Chives, Mudbrick Cottage, See text below images.
See diagram: Chives.
Garlic chives (Allium
tuberosum), Chinese chives, perennial, hardy plant, up to 30 cm, flat leaves, culinary uses, garlic flavour,
attractive white flowers, leaves and green flower buds used in Asian cooking, herbal medicine, Amaryllidaceae.
Garlic chives, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
See diagram: Garlic chives.
Garlic (Allium sativum var. sativum), cultivated garlic, Amaryllidaceae.
A garlic "clove" is single swollen storage leaves surrounding the shoots.
The smell of fresh garlic is caused by the organosulfur compound Allicin.
Garlic has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Garlic has strong garlic odour, insoluble in water, soluble in oils, inhibits moulds and bacteria, skin and stomach-lining irritant, causes
garlic allergy, soak well in lemon juice before storing under oil, but may turn blue-green, garlic breath cause by Methanethiol in the
mouth and Allyl methyl sulfide from the digestive system, culinary uses, stews, omelettes,
with lamb, sold as granules, ground garlic,
When a clove of garlic, Allium sativum, is crushed the enzyme allinase acts on alliin (S-allylcysteine), to produce unstable allicin,
(diallyl thiosulfionate), that degrades to diallyl sulfide, CH2.CH.CH2.S-S.CH2.CH.CH2,
and other sulfur compounds called ajoenes
In distilled oil of garlic, allyl disulfide (diallyl disulfide, C6H10S2), can also be prepared by steam distillation.
Folk medicine, treat boils with a warm washer compress of crushed garlic, treat ear infections with topic application of garlic oil.
All these compounds are said to have health benefits owing to their anticlotting, antifungus, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
However, garlic should be eaten in oil preparations, e.g. olive oil, or cooked or as tincture
Raw garlic may damage the digestive system.
Do not use if taking anticoagulants or before surgery.
Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), wild garlic, pink agapanthus, used as chives, South Africa,
Rakkyo Chinese Scallions, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm (Allium chinense), Amaryllidaceae.
Society Garlic, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm
Society Garlic - Variegated, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm (Tulbaghia violacea), See text
Family Araceae, Arum family
Arum lily Araceae.
Aroids (spadix inflorescence inside spathe) (may contain calcium oxalate raphides), e.g. calamus, coco yam, monsterio, taro.
Taro project, Araceae.
Chinese eddoe (Colocasia antiquorum), eddo, Chinese eddoe, Araceae.
Angel wings (Caladium bicolor), heart of Jesus, elephant ear, heart of Jesus, green-white spathe,
large, heart-shaped two-coloured leaves,
yellow to green leaves with green or red veins, all parts poisonous especially leaves and tubers, irritation, calcium oxalate, raphides,
common ornamental houseplant, South America, Araceae.
See diagram: Caladium bicolor.
Family Arecaceae, Palm
Acai berry (Euterpe oleracea),
Acai palm, Arecaceae.
Betel tree (Areca catechu), areca nut palm, areca palm, betel nut palm, pinang palm, up to 20 m, large
compound leaves, small male and
female flowers in same bunch, oval fruits have layer of husk
around a single seed, orange ripe fruit called betel nut, kernel of seed
chewed with betel leaf and lime | Arecaidine alkaloid, C7H11NO2 | Arecoline, | Choline | Gallic acid | Guvacine | Tannic acid | Chavicol |
Safrole | herbal medicine, root decoction for stomach ailments, nut decoction for diarrhoea, Philippines, South East Asia, Papua
New Guinea, Arecaceae.
Masticatory quid called a "paan" which may be antidepressant, but addictive and cause mouth cancers.
(paan = Betel leaf + nut of Areca catechu).
Jelly palm (Butia capitata), wine palm, tender palm, yatay palm, Brazil palm, medium palm, evergreen,
fast growing, very cold-hardy
palm, stout trunk, pinnate leaves, fruit large, yellow, in clusters, used as jelly, fresh, fruit has strong tasting fruit with contents like
jelly, propagation from seeds | Caffeolyshikimic acid, C16H16O8, date acid | South America, Arecaceae.
Wooly Jelly Palm (Butia eriospatha), Arecaceae.
B. capitata, B. eriospatha Daley's fruit Trees
Flame-of-the-forest (Butia monosperma, B. frondosa) | Butin | Butrin | Isobutrin | South Asia, Arecaceae.
palm (Caryota urens), jaggery palm, toddy palm, alcoholic drinks, palm sugar, fishing rod from leaf, India, Arecaceae.
Fishtail palm (Caryota mitis), beridin, up to 25 m, compound leaves with wedge-shaped, fish tail-like leaflets, flowers
clusters, ripe fruits dark red like string of beads fruit and leaves poisonous, sap stings skin, unripe fruits irritating, calcium oxalate
raphides, garden and roadside ornamental, Arecaceae.
Caryota rumphiana, native fishtail palm, northern Australia, Papua New
Cocos (Cocos nucifera)
Cocos nucifera, cv. dwarf, dwarf coconut palm, horticulture, Arecaceae.
Cocos weddeliana, dwarf coconut palm, small palm, thin leaflets (houseplant), Arecaceae.
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens, Sabal serrulata), up to 3 m, fanspined petioles, leaves up to
2 m, yellow-white, fruit red-black drupe
contains fatty acids and phytosterols, flowers, palm, native American food and medicine, prostate gland, anti-inflammatory, used to treat
PBH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), other urinary problems, may affect testosterone levels, coastal South Atlantic, USA and Gulf,
Dried herb sold as crushed berries or crushed berries powder.
Family Asparagaceae, Asparagus family
Plants called "asparagus fern" are not ferns, (Class Polypodiopsida).
Asparagus adscendens, folk medicine, sexual disorders, libido, sperm count, stimulates insulin, aphrodisiac, India, Asparagaceae.
Asparagus densiflorus (Acacia meyeri), asparagus fern, large green "leaves" are cladophylls, small white-pink flowers,
(houseplant), South Africa, Asparagaceae.
Asparagus aethiopicus, basket asparagus fern, ground asparagus, invasive, South Africa, Asparagaceae.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis, var. Mary Washington), garden asparagus, sparrow grass, shoots used as spring vegetable, perennial,
up to 1 metre, hardy plant, deciduous, deep loose soil, companion plant, culinary uses, spring table vegetable, delicious and nutritious,
eaten raw, tastes like fresh green peas, used cooked | Arginine | Asparagine | Asparagoside A | Officinalisnin | Yamogenin | herbal
medicine, high nutritional value, berries poisonous, Asparagaceae.
Asparagus racemosus, wild asparagus, "Shatavari", widely used Ayurvedic medicine to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS),
uterine bleeding and encourage breast milk, India, Asparagaceae.
'Mary Washington', Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), wild asparagus,
cladodes like pine needles, tiny white flowers, tuberous roots | asparagamine
alkaloid | saponins | roots used for widely-used traditional herbal medicine,
stomach problems, improve breast milk, tonic for uterus,
South Asia, Asparagaceae.
Dried herb sold as aerials.
Asparagus, Daley's Fruit Trees
Asparagus oligoclonos, herbal medicine, India, Asparagaceae.
Asparagus setaceus, common asparagus fern (houseplant), South Africa, Asparagaceae.
Agave species, Asparagaceae.
Agave species: | Hecogenin | Asparagaceae.
Century plant (Agave americana) maguey | Agavoside | (Agavoideae), Asparagaceae
|See diagram: Agave americana 1
| raphides, beware of spines! |
American aloe, xerophyte, to 1.2 m, blue-grey strap-like spiny leaves, tall cluster of flowers inflorescence, up to 12 m, flowers only
once up to 30 years, not after 100 years, long leaf fibres, sap natural insecticide, herbal medicine, diuretic, constipation, burns,
as houseplant usually variegated varieties, in tub on patio used to make pulque and tequila, national drink of Mexico, succulent,
drought resistant, ornamental, Asparagaceae.
Sisal (Agave sisalana), sisal hemp, widely cultivated fibre plant | Hentriacontan-1-ol | Tigogenin | Mexico, Asparagaceae.
Sea onion (Albuca bracteata,
Ornithogalum caudatum), false sea onion, pregnant onion, herb of healing, house plant, inedible
"onions" (bulb-like stems), grows above the ground, herbal medicine, crushed leaves to cover cuts and bruises, syrup against colds,
dermatitis health risk, South Africa, Asparagaceae.
Some other genera are called "sea onion!".
Lily-of-the-valley, (Convallaria majalis), ladder-to-heaven, may lily, herbaceous perennial,
possibly up to 40 herbal cardiac
glycosides and saponins, poisonous, | azetine-2-carboxylic acid (C4H7NO2), | Convallatoxin | herbal medicine, cardiac tonic, diuretic,
all parts poisonous, dangerously attractive red berries, ornamental, perfume industry, the aldehyde Bourgeonal C13H18O
in Lily-of-the-valley scent attracts human spermatozoa because it imitates the effect of progesterone on sperm, leaves used for dye,
See diagram: Convallaria majalis.
Star of Bethlehem,
(Ornithogalum umbellatum), grass lily, sleepy dick, chincherinchee, up to 20 cm, deciduous, star-shaped flowers,
| Convallatoxin | essence for mental and physical shock, an ingredient in rescue medicine,
See diagram: Ornithogalum umbellatum.
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa),
perennial, up to 1 metre, white waxen, perhaps the most powerfully scented of all flowers and produce
perfume long after it has been picked, aphrodisiac, used to make perfume, several blooms can appear on each stem, mild fragrance
during the day and a strong fragrance during the night, Mexico, Asparagaceae.
See diagram: Polianthes tuberosa.
Solomon's seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) | Azetidine 2-carboxylic acid | Diaminobutryic acid | Asparagaceae.
Smooth Solomon's seal (Polygonatum biflorum), drooping, white-green flowers, seal-like scars between sections
of rhizome, herbal medicine, potato-like food, Asparagaceae.
See diagram: Polygonatum biflorum.
Angular Solomon's seal (Polygonatum odoratum, P. officinale),
fragrant Solomon's seal, jointed rhizome, scented tubular flowers,
young shoots cooked, poisonous red or black berries, poisonous azetine-2-carboxylic
acid (C4H7NO2), ancient herbal medicine,
poultice for bruising, tonic for many disorders, Europe, Asparagaceae.
See diagram: Polygonatum odoratum.
Jew's myrtle (Ruscus aculeatus), butcher's broom, knee holly, box holly, pettigree, sweet broom,
| Ruscogenin | Ruscoside |
herbal medicine, perennial, evergreen, hardy plant, cladodes look like spine-tipped leaves, up to 1 metre, internal and external leaves, steroid
saponins, improve circulation by restricting veins and reducing pooling in extremeties, relieve constipation and water retention
discomfort, England, Europe, Asparagaceae.
Dried herb sold as aerials.
See diagram: Ruscus aculeatus.
Azerbaijan broom (Ruscus hyrcanus) | Ruscogenin | Asparagaceae.
Yucca (Yucca filamentosa), common yucca (Adam's
needle, Genesis 3:7), Spanish bayonet, needle palm, hardy perennial, up to
1-2 metres, white bell of beautiful white bell flowers, poisonous, ornamental,
woody, the yucca moth Pronuba yuccasella, transfers
pollen for fertilization, lays eggs in the ovules, and eats only some
of the ovules, herbal medicine, dry regions of South America,
Central America, Asparagaceae.
Aloe family (formerly Family Xanthorrhoeaceae)
Aloe species: | Aloe-emodin | Aloesin | Arabinose | Barbaloin | Asphodelaceae.
Aloe ballyi, Aloe elata and Aloe ruspoliana are poisonous and have a smell of rats.
Candelabra aloe (Aloe candelabra, A. arborescens), tree-like aloe, perennial, succulent, erect growth, fleshy leaves, more than
60 cm, forms roots easily from stem cuttings, root easily from stems, bitter glucoside Aloenin, herbal medicine,
antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, clear inner gel of leaves used for cuts, bruises and sunburn, used for many internal and external uses,
tonic, cuts, bruises, cold sores, scalds, nappy rash, dandruff, after-shave, sunburn, called "living First Aid plant", culinary uses, invasive
weed (houseplant), Asphodelaceae.
Do not take dried leaf internally.
Do not use gel externally on surgical incision.
Juice extract and aerials sold as powder.
Candelabra Aloe, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm.
Rat aloe (Aloe ballyi), tree aloe | Coniceine | poisonous, Asphodelaceae.
Quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma), tall branching plant, used for arrows, South Africa, Asphodelaceae.
Cape Aloe (Aloe ferox), bitter aloe, red aloe, thick, fleshy leaves, red-brown spines, stem up to
45 cm, red-brown spines on leaf
margins, herbal medicine, purgative, leaf gel in cosmetics (houseplant), South Africa, Asphodelaceae.
Cape Aloe, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm
Dried herb sold as aerials powder.
Aloe gilgilandii | Coniceine | Asphodelaceae.
Rubble aloe (Aloe perfoliata), mitre aloe, prostrate, branching stems, along the ground, fleshy blue-green
leaves, spines around
edges, red flowers on stalks, common landscaping plant (houseplant), South Africa, Asphodelaceae.
See diagram Aloe perfoliata
Perry's aloe (Aloe perryi), socratine aloe, rocky areas, leaves with red spines, aromatic odour like
saffron, unpleasant bitter taste,
herbal medicine, burns, sunburn, Yemen, Asphodelaceae.
Perry's Aloe, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Soap aloe (Aloe maculata, A, saponaria), zebra aloe, H-shaped spots, flat-topped flower head | Aloesin | herbal medicin, gel for skin
complaints, southern Africa, Asphodelaceae.
Barbados aloe (Aloe vera, A. barbadensis), "true aloe", Chinese aloe, Indian aloe, burn aloe, "First Aid Plant", perennial,
stemless, rosette of tapering toothed succulent leaves,, fleshy lamina modified for water storage, up to 100 cm, thick and fleshy,
green to grey leaves containing thick, colourless juice, leaf margins serrated with small white teeth, erect spike with yellow pendulous
flowers with tubular corolla on a spike up to 90 cm high, very bitter-tasting cramping sap so do not swallow, used in baby powder,
cosmetics | Anthroqinone in yellow latex resin exudate from under plant skin
| aloe-emodin | aloin (or barbaloin) | in clear aloe gel
in inner part of plant leaf, Coumarin, herbal medicine, antibacterial, antiviral, immune stimulant, nutrients to stimulate wound healing,
fresh leaf mucilage used to treat bed sores, burns, itching, radiation burns, shingles, skin problems, sunburn, wound healing, psoriasis,
however many drug interactions (commercial product specifies it contains "inner leaf gel", to avoid containing anthroquinone),
no culinary uses, other ornamental Aloe species contain astringent sap so do not use them on damaged skin (houseplant),
Mediterranean region, Asphodelaceae.
See diagram: Aloe vera
Barbados Aloe, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images
Dried herb sold as leaf powder.
Aloe vera extract powder will reconstitute into Aloe vera gel.
Aloe vera, Daley's Fruit Trees
Tiger aloe (Aloe variegata), partridge-breasted aloe, up to 30 cm, rosette of triangular, dark green
leaves, V-shaped white bands,
Bulbinella (Bulbine frutescens),
perennial, drought-hardy plant, up to 50 cm, leaves rich in anthraquinones,
herbal medicine, internal
and external, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, Asphodelaceae.
Bulbine lily (Bulbine bulbosa), yellow flowers,
corms eaten but leaves poisonous, garden flower, Australian native food, Asphodelaceae.
Leek lily (Bulbine semibarbata), wild onion, native leek, annual herb, up to 45 cm,
fibrous roots, wet margins of lakes and coasts, Australian native food, Asphodelaceae.
See diagram: Leek lily.
Daylily (Hemerocallis citrina),
perennial, herbal medicine, antibacterial, culinary uses, yellow to purple
flowers supposed to last
for only one day, flower buds and young shoots eaten raw and cooked,
Orange day lily (Hemerocallis fulva), ornamental,
australis), black boy, blue-green leaves hang down to skirt trunk blackened by bush fires, widespread
in Australia, | Aloe-emodin | Asphodelaceae.
Balga (Xanthorrhoea preissii, X. reflexa) | Paeonol | Asphodelaceae.
Bromeliad family, pineapple family
Ananas species, Bromeliaceae.
Pineapple Project (Ananas comosus),
Tropical America, Bromeliaceae.
Spanish moss (Tillandsia
usneoides), air plant, perennial, epiphyte, cylindrical leaves on slender
drooping stems, cascading from
plant's support (novelty plant) (houseplant), hang over fence or tree,
no need to water, plant will thicken and lengthen, use as garden
mulch, stuffing cushions, herbal medicine, in ointments, Bromeliaceae.
Family Cannaceae, Canna
family (Canna is the only genus in the family.)
Achira (Canna edulis)
Queensland arrowroot, perennial, 2 metres, hardy plant, some of first plants to be cultivated by Incas, ornamental, used for quick
growing windbreaks, leaves for animal feed and mulch, herbal medicine, poultices, digestive, culinary uses, large round red rhizomes
eaten raw or cooked, or flour for thickening agent, young shoots as green vegetable, stir-fry, chips, tuber as vegetable, herbal medicine,
poultices, digestive, South America, Cannaceae.
See diagram Queensland arrowroot, Canna edulis, Cannaceae
Arrowroot, Daley's Fruit Trees
Indian shot (Canna indica), small, black globular seeds like shot, horticulture cultivars, Cannaceae.
Family Colchicaceae, Flame lily family
Meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale), autumn crocus, naked lady, large crocus-shaped pink flowers, can flower without
corms and seeds poisonous | Colchicine |
in corms and seeds, herbal medicine, used to treat gout, possibly anticancer, ornamental,
Colchicum speciosum | Colchicine | Laminaribiose | Colchicaceae.
Flame lily (Gloriosa superba, "Rothschildiana"), climbing lily, glory lily, gloriosa lily, ornamental, all parts poisonous
| Colchicine |
herbal medicine, gout, noxious weed, Colchicaceae.
Family Dioscoreaceae, Yam family
Family Illiciaceae, Star anise family
Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum, I. religiosum), highly toxic, used in incense | Shikimin | Sikimitoxin, | Anethole | Anisatin |
Eugenol | Safrole | Shikimic acid | Illiciaceae.
Chinese star anise (Illicium verum), star anise, star aniseed, badiane, spice like anise in flavour, in Indian garam masala, small to medium,
rounded, evergreen tree, glossy foliage, small green-white to pink- purple flowers, aromatic seed pods open to star shape when ripe, brown
pods and the seeds source of essential oil and ground spice, Chinese and northern Vietnamese cuisine, an ingredient in five-spice powder,
used to flavour liqueurs, e.g. Pernod, aniseed flavour in confectionary, in cough mixtures.
| Anethole | Anisaldehyde | Estragole | Methoxycinnemaldehyde |
Limonene | Linalool | Viet Nam, Illiciaceae.
Dried herb sold as fruit and as fruit powder.
Family Iridaceae, Iris family
Crocus species, Iridaceae.
Crocus species: | Crocetin | Crocin | Iridaceae.
Saffron (Crocus sativus), saffron crocus, autumn crocus, up to 30 cm, deciduous, red-orange stigmas, spice for flavouring
coloring food | Crocetin | Crocin | Safranal | Zeaxanthin --> picrocrocin + safranal, give the taste and smell of saffron.
Chinese traditional medicine and general folk medicine but little research on medical benefit, , used to treat heart disorders, blood
disorders, stroke, suppress tumour necrosis, as decoction, medicine, pistils used to produce rare flavouring spice, also used for yellow
dye from crocetin esters in saffron stigmas, Iridaceae.
Iridaceae, Iris rhizome, perennating food storing and propagating organ, parenchyma contains inulin and amylum starch,
Iris species: | Apocynin | Iridin | Irisolidone | Iris species have poisonous leaves and rhizomes. Iridaceae.
Orris (Iris florentina), orris root, perennial, 50 cm, | Iridin | Irisxanthone | Irone | Myristic acid | herbal medicine, isoflavone glycosides,
Orris, Mudbrick Cottage, See text below images.
Dried herb sold as root powder.
Gladwin iris (Iris foetidissima), stinking iris, stinking gladwin, woodland, roast beef plant, bruised leaves have
unpleasant beefy smell,
but do not eat plant, attractive garden seed pods, Iridaceae.
German bearded iris (Iris X germanica) | Iridin | Irilone | Tectorigenin | Iridaceae.
Kumoan iris (Iris kemaonensis), |1,4-benzoquinone|, Iridaceae.
Himalayan irises (Iris subgenus nepalensis) | Irisolidone | Iridaceae.
Iris nertshinskia | Swertiajaponin | Iridaceae.
Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus), Iridaceae.
Roof iris (Iris tectorum), wall iris | Tectoridin | Iridaceae.
Morocco iris (Iris tingitana), Tangerian iris | Alanine | Iridaceae.
Blue flag (Iris versicolor), perennial, 1 metre,
lavender / blue flowers, hardy plant, culinary uses, herbal medicine, Iridaceae.
Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Dried herb sold as rhizome particles.
Family Liliaceae, Lily family
Lilium species, Liliaceae.
Golden-rayed lily (Lilium auratum), Liliaceae.
Madonna lily (Lilium candidum)
possible origin of "fleur de lis" in heraldry, columns of King Solomon's temple, toxic to cats, flower stem to 1 m, | Cinnamic acid |
Lilaline | Greece, Mexico, Liliaceae.
Tiger lily (Lilium lancefolium), ornamental, Liliaceae.
Easter lilly (Lilium longifolium), , one of largest lilies, ornamental, Liliaceae.
Regal lily (Lilium regale), ornamental, Liliaceae.
American turkscap lily (Lilium superbum), marsh martagon, tall flowering stem, drooping orange flowers, petals resemble turbans, North
Family Marantaceae, Arrowroot
family, Prayer plant family
Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea)
obedience plant, South American arrowroot, perennial but may go deciduous
in winter, hardy plant, more than 1 metre, large starchy
rhizomes, source of commercial arrowroot flour, culinary uses, root raw
and cooked, made into flour for thickening and baking, high
nutritional value, herbal medicine, digestive aid, Central America, Marantaceae.
The edible starch from Maranta arundinacea may be called "arrowroot".
Family Musaceae, Banana family, Musa
Banana (Musa acuminata), most edible bananas, dessert
bananas, Southeast Asia, Musaceae.
Musa acuminata (Musa, AAA group "Dwarf Cavendish"), banana, Musaceae.
Plantain (Musa x paradisiaca), cooking bananas, triploid, Southeast
Musa hybrids, plantain, cooking banana, large herb, evergreen, fast growing,
fruit large, yellow or red, starchy, used cooked.
Lady finger banana (Musa (AA) 'Lady Finger'), diploid, small sweet fruit
with thin skin, Australia, Southeast Asia, Musaceae.
Latundan banana (Musa acuminata x Icacinaceae, Icacina family
Illiciaceae, Star anise family, Musa balbisiana),
triploid, desert banana, ornamental, Philippines, Musaceae.
Red banana (Musa acuminata 'Red Dacca'), Red Dacca banana, West Indies,
Wild banana (Musa balbisiana), butuhan, seeded banana, Southeast Asia,
Family Orchidaceae, Orchid
Vanilla species, Orchidaceae.
Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), flat-leaved vanilla,
vanilla vine, Bourbon vanilla, Mexican vanilla, Reunion vanilla, perennial,
orchid, warm climate, aromatic pods used in soup, flavour ice cream,
cakes, icing, drinks, fruit salad | Eugenol
| Linalool | Vanillin |
Mexico, India, Indonesia, Orchidaceae.
Dried herb sold as whole pods, cut pods 1-2 mm, pods powder.
Family Poaceae, Grass family,
e.g. Poa, grasses, wheat, barley, rice, oats, rye, bamboo
6.6.11 Tropical grasses
Oat, (Avena sativa), oats, wild oat, red oat, oatstraw herb, annual grass, | Avenacin A-1 and B-2 | Avenacoside Aand B |
Avenanthramide A | Avenasterol | Isofucosterol | Nuatigenin | Spermidine | Victorin C | herbal medicine, edible grain, agar block on
decapitated Avena coleoptile, source of plant growth hormone, oatstraw (oat straw) as a herb is suitable for herbal infusion, used as
a general tonic, Poaceae.
Dried herb sold as oatstraw aerials.
Vanilla grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), sweet
vernal grass, holy grass, up to 30 cm, hardy plant, tufting grass, soup sachets,
bath bags, leaves pleasant tea, | Dicoumarol | herbal medicine, temporary relief of
pain, tincture sniffed for hay fever, | Coumarin |
hay smell when dry, Poaceae.
Vanilla grass, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm.
Love grass (Chrysopogon
aciculatus), amorseco, lesser spear grass, perennial, creeping stout rhizomes,
up to 50 cm, sharp
spikelets stick to clothing and animal fur, hydrocyanic acid, herbal
medicine, expel intestinal worms, rheumatism, invasive weed, prevent
soil erosion, Southeast Asia, Australia, Poaceae.
Vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides, Vetiveria
zizanioides), perennial, up to 1, 5 metres, clumping grass, moisture conservation
and erosion control, mulch, aromatic root yields valuable oil used in
perfumery, drinks, foods, cosmetics, soaps,
crafts, insect repellent, herbal medicine, tonic, digestive,
temporary relief of arthritis, fevers, stress, aromatherapy, culinary
uses, herbal medicine, Poaceae.
Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm.
Job's tears (Coix lacryma-jobi),
perennial, up to 1 metre high, animal fodder, multi-coloured seeds ideal
in dried flower
arrangements and crafts, herbal medicine, lung and chest disorder, rheumatism,
traditional Chinese uses, culinary uses, used in Chinese
recipes where called "Chinese pearl barley", natural beads for necklaces,
Cymbopogon species: | Dipentene | Poaceae.
Many Cymbopogon species are called "lemon grass".
Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), citronella grass, oil grass, nardus, tanglad,
barbed wire grass, West Indian lemon grass,
Madagascar lemon grass, Guatemala lemon grass, pin yin, sugandha trina, perennial, up to 1 metre, dense clumps of of shoots with
coarse narrow leaves, mulch, erosion control, companion plant, garden herb, contains geraniol, may cause drop in cholesterol
concentrations, culinary uses, food flavouring, soups, Thai cooking, curries, salads, rich in vitamins A and C, thick stem in curries,
stir fries, fish, as tea refreshing hot, or cold, and added to fruit cups | mainly Citral | also: cCitronellal | Geraniol | Limonene | Linalool |
herbal medicine, decoction to treat headaches, coughs, colds, and many
other disorders, rinse as hair conditioner and remove body
odour, used to produce citronella oil seen as a "natural insecticide"
and safe insect repellent but banned in the European Union as an
insecticide, Southeast Asia, Egypt, Poaceae.
Dried herb sold as aerials.
Essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus sold as West Indian lemon grass oil,
Indian melissa oil, to be used as pesticide or preservative
and possibly antifungal properties.
See diagram: Lemon grass
East Indies lemon grass (Cymbopogon flexousus), red base, grows taller
and tolerates, cold well, same uses as Cymbopogon citratus,
Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Lemon grass products, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm
Lemon grass Daley's Fruit Trees
"Lemon grass" (Cymbopogon flexuosus) | Citral | Poaceae.
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii), Indian geranium,
ginger grass, rosha, perennial, hardy plant, up to 1 metre, for palmarosa
and geranoil oil, herbal medicine, lumbago, skin conditions, added to
perfumes, cosmetics, insect repellents, Poaceae.
Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus),
perennial, more than 1 metre height, hardy plant, companion plant, mulch,
oil as repellent,
soaps, culinary uses, food flavouring, leaves and thick base rich in
vitamin C, refreshing tea, rub leaves on body to deter insects,
Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) | Camphene | Citronellal | cannot be eaten, source of essentiakl oil called "citronella oil", Poaceae.
"Lemon grass" Cymbopogon procerus | Elemicin | northwestern Australia, Poaceae.
Cymbopogon sennarensis | Piperitone | Sudan, Poaceae.
Cat grass (Dactylis glomerata), cocksfoot grass, orchard grass, perennial, hardy plant, up to 20 cm, lawn
grass, orchard grass
| Hexacosan-1-ol | natural medicine for healthy cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, can also be chopped and added to animal's food, Poaceae.
Cat Grass, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm.
Incense grass (Hierochloe odorata), holy grass, manna grass, Mary's grass, seneca grass, perennial,
up to 50 cm, traditional ceremonial
grass used in peace and healing rituals, leaves dried and braided, also made into smudge sticks, herbal medicine, in distilled beverages,
e.g. Zubrowka Vodka, Northern Asia and North America, Poaceae.
Sweet grass, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Zebra grass (Miscanthus zebrinus), perennial, hardy plant, striking green and cream, stripes cross-ways
on the leaves, for landscaping,
erosion control, mulch, Poaceae.
Phalaris (Phalaris aquatica), pasture grass, tolerates wet soils, erect and prostrate types, some varieties
may cause poisoning of livestock,
causes phalaris staggers, Poaceae.
Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), gardener's garters, ribbon grass, hardy plant, up to 2 m, | Gramine | Hordenine |
Methoxy-dimethyltryptamine | herbal medicine, ornamental, forage crop, invasive weed, psychedelic drugs, euphoric, Europe, Asia,
North America, Poaceae.
Canary grass (Phalaris canariensis), grown for birdseed, also street food, Canary Islands, Italy, North Africa, Poaceae.
Bulbous canary grass (Phalaris tuberosa), Harding grass | Methoxy-dimethyltryptamine | Poaceae.
5.0.0, Maize (Zea mays, Indian corn), Poaceae.
Smilacaceae, catbrier family, Smilax species, Sarsaparilla
Family Zingiberaceae, Ginger family
Grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta), ossame, Guinea pepper, trumpet-shaped purple flowers, red seeds taste
like pepper, aromatic
ketones, swamp habitats, West Africa, Zingiberaceae.
Galangal, A "galangal" is a Zingiberaceae. rhizome.
Alpinia species: | Cinnamic acid | Zingiberaceae.
Alpinia species, Daley's Fruit Trees
Native ginger (Alpinia caerulea), Atherton ginger, 1.5 to 2m, understory, root and seed herb, very hardy, white shell-like flowers, clusters
of blue berries, roots and berries, Australian native food, Zingiberaceae
See diagram: Alpinia caerulea.
Atherton ginger, Daley's Fruit Trees
Cardamom ginger (Alpinia calcarata), Indian snap ginger, perennial herb, rhizomes are antibacterial,
flavouring leaf, dull dark green leaves but lighter underneath, narrow foliage, upright habit, folkl medicine, antifungal, antihelmintic,
antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, gastroprotective, and antidiabetic, polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, steroid
glycosides and alkaloids in the extract and essential oil, traditional medicine, Sri Lanka, India, and Malaysia, Zingiberaceae.
Greater galangal (Alpinia galanga), "galangal", Thai galangal, Thai ginger, perennial, orchid-like flowers,
tasty knobby root, culinary use, rhizome slices in Thai curries and Indonesian rendang, roots contains volatile "oil galangol", karempferid |
alpanin | Acetoxychavicol acetate | Acetoxyeugenol acetate | Camphor | Cineole
| Eugenol | Galangin | Geranyl acetate | Methyl cinnamate | Pinene | African and Indian folk medicine, antifungal, for sore throat, colds,
South Asia, Zingiberaceae.
Galangal, Mudbrick Cottage, See text below images.
Dried herb sold as root powder.
False cardamom ginger (Alpinia mutica), small-shell ginger, orchid ginger, narrow-leaved alpini, hardy
clumping ginger, thick lush foliage, spicy scent when rubbed, upright shell-like flowers, perennial, up to 1-1, 5 metres,
culinary uses, sweet, culinary uses, flavour meat, curries, herbal medicine,
rhizome extracts may have cytotoxic effects on human carcinoma cells, Zingiberaceae.
False cardamom ginger, Daley's Fruit Trees
shaped flowers, ornamentals, leaves for cuisine and local medicine. East Asia, Zingiberaceae.
Lesser galangal (Alpinia officinarum), "galangal", perennial ornamental, lesser galangal, "small ginger", galangal root,
colic root, the
preferred ginger for Thai cooking, tight clumps of green foliage, cream flowers, 1.5 to 2m, cold tolerant, full sun to part shade, needs moist
well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, flowers in summer, Zingiberaceae.
See diagram: Alpinia officinarum.
See diagram: Galangal
Shellfower (Alpinia nutans, A. speciosa), dwarf cardamom, shining oblong leaves, clusters of pink shaded white flowers with yellow lips
and magenta stripes | Dehydrokawain | Zingiberaceae.
Red ginger (Alpinia purpurata), ostrich plume, pink cone ginger, showy red bracts, white flower, cinnamic acid, Malaysia, Zingiberaceae
Shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet, A. speciosa, A. nutans), pink porcelain lily, variegated ginger, butterfly gingershell ginger, perennial,
up to 3 metres, funnel-shaped flowers with colorful funnel, insect repellent, culinary uses, herbal teas, | 5,6-Dehydrokawain | herbal
medicine, skin conditions, many other uses, Zingiberaceae.
Greater galangal Alpinia galanga, lengkuas, Thai ginger | Acetoxychavicol acetate | Acetoxyeugenol acetate | Southeast asia | Zingiberaceae.
Black cardamom (Amomum costatum), hill cardamom, larger pods used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, Zingiberaceae.
Nepal cardamom (Amomum subulatum), greater Indian cardamom, black cardamom,
seeds in red pod with sweet surrounding pulp,
| Camphor | Cineole |,
strong harsh flavour if smoke dried, used in Indian cuisine, meat dishes, pickles, North India, Nepal, Zingiberaceae.
Chinese ginger (Zingiber officinale), Thai ginger, East Indian ginger, more than 1 metre, white flowers, ginger-shaped, root, narrow leaves,
similar growth and uses to greater galangal | Cineole | Galangin | folk medicine, Zingiberaceae.
See diagram: Zingiber.
See diagram: Zingiber officinale
Zingiber, Daley's Fruit Trees
Myoga ginger (Zingiber mioga), Japanese ginger, herbaceous perennial, flower buds and shoots shredded for miso soup garnish Japan,
Myoga ginger, Daley's Fruit Trees
Chinese ginger (Boesenbergia rotunda), fingerroot, kencur, aromatic ginger, sand ginger, Zingiberaceae.
Chinese keys (Boesenbergia pandurata), finger root, perennial, up to 40 cm, deciduous, rare root spice, flavouring, | Chrysin 5,7-dimethyl
ether | Galangin 3,5,7-trimethyl ether | Zingiberaceae.
See diagram: Chinese keys
See diagram: Boesenbergia
Curcuma species, Zingiberaceae.
Curcuma species: | Zingiberene |
Curcuma aromatica, wild turmeric, fragrant rhizomes used in cosmetics, | Curcumene | E100 Curcumin |
South Asia, Zingiberaceae
Cape York turmeric (Curcuma australatica), Zingiberaceae
a ginger (not a lily), which produces showy flower spike emerging from dormant rhizome, pink bracts enclose the yellow flower buds,
fading to green, then sprouting of leaves up to 80cm, rhizome is edible but not the fruit, harvest outer rhizomes and use as with turmeric
striking ornamental with mauve bracts and yellow flowers.
See diagram: Curcuma australatica
See diagram: Cape York turmeric
Cape York Turmeric, Daley's Fruit Trees
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Indian saffron, Indian yellow root, thick cylindrical orange
rhizome, perennial, up to 1 metre, deciduous, yellow dye, gives foods brilliant orange colour and earthy flavour as in ballpark mustard,
used to produce commercial curry powder, culinary uses, Indian curries, asian dishes, rice, vegetarian dishes, pickles
| E100 Curcumin) | Cineole | Phellandrene |
herbal medicine, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, may have chemopreventative effects against cancer, India, Nepal, Zingiberaceae.
See diagram: Turmeric
See diagram: Curcuma longa
Turmeric, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm, See text below images.
Dried herb sold as root fingers and as root powder.
Turmeric, Daley's Fruit Trees
Temulawak (Curcuma zanthorrhiza), Java ginger, curcuma, perennial, more than 1 metre,
pink flowers, herbal medicine, culinary uses, Zingiberaceae.
Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria), E Zhu, kentjur, white galangal, herbaceous perennial,
up to 0.15 m, aromatic pungent root in Swedish bitters, starch called shoti | Cineole | herbal remedy,
Do not use if you have stomach ulcers, gallstones or bile obstruction.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum),
true cardamom, green cardamom, "Queen of spices", commercially cultivated for its dried fruits
(capsules), the cardamom of commerce, cultivar Malabar (prostrate panicle) sold after bleaching, cultivar Mysore (erect panicle)
sold green , cultivar Vazhukka, natural hybrid (semi-erect panicle), seeds in fibrous capsules ripening differently so must be picked
by hand just before ripe, delicate warming taste, Southern India, Zingiberaceae,
| Camphor | Cineole | Limonene | Linalool | Pinene | Sabinene |
Terpineol | Terpinyl acetate |
Dried herb sold as whole seed pods and whole seed pods powder.
Cardamom fruit oil is used as a flavour, in flatulent indigestion and as an appetite stimulator.
It is antibacterial, antiseptic, carminative and antispasmodic.
See diagram: Ginger cardamom.
Cardamom, Daley's Fruit Trees
Kencur (Kaempheria galanga),
lesser galangale, aromatic ginger, perennial, up to 12 cm, deciduous,
rare spice, aromatic pungent
root in Asian cooking and curries, herbal medicine, orchid-like flowers,
Cottage, See text below images.
Round-rooted galangal (Kaempferia rotunda),
"galangal", perennial, up to 60 cm, herbal medicine, culinary uses, leaves,
eaten raw and cooked, Zingiberaceae.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale),
Garden ginger, eating ginger, herbaceous, perennial, to 1 metre, narrow green leaves, yellow flowers,
deciduous, foliage dies down in late Autumn then rhizomes harvested as cooking spice, pungent flavour, not-volatile, rhizome
contains phenols, mainly 6-gingerol, culinary uses, savoury and sweetener, dried ginger more pungent than fresh ginger, curries,
pickles, chutneys, Chinese and Thai dishes, cakes, biscuits called "ginger nuts", gingerbread cake, ginger beer, ginger ale,
as tincture | Cineole | Citral | Linalool | Phellandrene |,
herbal medicine, ginger tea after meals to cut gas production, reduce burping
and heartburn, crystalline or root ginger for motion sickness, ginger ale or gingernut biscuit for mild nausea and vomiting, antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory, antitumor, southern China, Nepal, Zingiberaceae.
Dried herb sold as root and root powder.
Essential oils: 18.104.22.168: Gingerol
See diagram: Garden ginger
See diagram: Native ginger (Australia)
Torch ginger (Etlingera elatior), ginger flower, red ginger lily, pink torch ginger, herbaceous, perennial,
leaves contain chlorogenic acid (CGA), and high antioxidant, antibacterial, and tyrosinase inhibition activities, Zingiberaceae.
See diagram: Etlingera elatior