Elaeagnus angustifolia called Russian olive, silver berry, Persian olive, or wild olive, is a species of Elaeagnus, native to western and central Asia, from southern Russia and Kazakhstan to Turkey and parts of Pakistan. It is now widely established in North America as an introduced species, its common name comes from its similarity in appearance to the olive, in a different botanical family, the Oleaceae. Elaeagnus angustifolia is a thorny shrub or small tree growing to 5–7 m in height, its stems and leaves have a dense covering of silvery to rusty scales. The leaves are lanceolate, 4 -- 9 cm long and 1.0 -- 2.5 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The aromatic flowers, produced in clusters of one to three, are 1 cm long with a four-lobed creamy yellow calyx; the fruits are sweet, though with a dryish, mealy texture. The shrub can fix nitrogen in its roots. E. angustifolia was described as Zizyphus cappadocica by John Gerard, was grown by John Parkinson by 1633, was grown in Germany in 1736. It is now grown across southern and central Europe as a drought-resistant ornamental plant for its scented flowers, edible fruit, attractive yellow foliage, black bark.
The species was introduced into North America in the late 19th century, subsequently escaped cultivation, because its fruits, which ripen in England, are relished by birds which disperse the seeds. Russian olive is considered to be an invasive species in many places in the United States because it thrives on poor soil, has low seedling mortality rates, matures in a few years, outcompetes wild native vegetation, it invades riparian habitats where overstory cottonwoods have died. In Iran, the dried powder of the fruit is used mixed with milk for rheumatoid arthritis and joint pains, it is one of the seven items which are used in Haft Seen or the seven'S's, a traditional table setting of Nowruz, the traditional Persian spring celebration. There is evidence supporting beneficial effects of aqueous extract of Russian olive in reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis with an efficacy comparable to that of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Establishment and reproduction of E. angustifolia is by seed, although some spread by vegetative propagation occurs.
The fruit is eaten and disseminated by many species of birds. The plants begin to fruit from 3 years old. Jepson Manual Treatment Species Profile – Russian Olive, National Invasive Species Information Center, United States National Agricultural Library Lists general information and resources for Russian olive USDA Plants Profile Photo gallery
Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the birch family Betulaceae. The genus comprises about 35 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, a few reaching a large size, distributed throughout the north temperate zone with a few species extending into Central America, as well as the northern and southern Andes; the common name alder evolved from Old English alor, which in turn is derived from Proto-Germanic root aliso. The generic name Alnus is the equivalent Latin name. Both the Latin and the Germanic words derive from the Proto-Indo-European root el-, meaning "red" or "brown", a root for the English words elk and another tree: elm, a tree distantly related to the alders. With a few exceptions, alders are deciduous, the leaves are alternate and serrated; the flowers are catkins with elongate male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins before leaves appear. These trees differ from the birches in that the female catkins are woody and do not disintegrate at maturity, opening to release the seeds in a similar manner to many conifer cones.
The largest species are red alder on the west coast of North America, black alder, native to most of Europe and introduced elsewhere, both reaching over 30 m. By contrast, the widespread Alnus viridis is more than a 5-m-tall shrub. Alders are found near streams and wetlands. In the Pacific Northwest of North America, the white alder unlike other northwest alders, has an affinity for warm, dry climates, where it grows along watercourses, such as along the lower Columbia River east of the Cascades and the Snake River, including Hells Canyon. Alder leaves and sometimes catkins are used as food by numerous butterflies and moths. A. glutinosa and A. viridis are classed as environmental weeds in New Zealand. Alder leaves and the roots are important to the ecosystem because they enrich the soil with nitrogen and other nutrients. Alder is noted for its important symbiotic relationship with Frankia alni, an actinomycete, nitrogen-fixing bacterium; this bacterium is found in root nodules, which may be as large as a human fist, with many small lobes, light brown in colour.
The bacterium makes it available to the tree. Alder, in turn, provides the bacterium with sugars; as a result of this mutually beneficial relationship, alder improves the fertility of the soil where it grows, as a pioneer species, it helps provide additional nitrogen for the successional species which follow. Because of its abundance, red alder delivers large amounts of nitrogen to enrich forest soils. Red alder stands have been found to supply between 120 and 290 pounds of nitrogen per acre annually to the soil. From Alaska to Oregon, Alnus viridis subsp. Sinuata, characteristically pioneer fresh, gravelly sites at the foot of retreating glaciers. Studies show that Sitka alder, a more shrubby variety of alder, adds nitrogen to the soil at an average of 55 pounds per acre per year, helping convert the sterile glacial terrain to soil capable of supporting a conifer forest. Alders are common among the first species to colonize disturbed areas from floods, fires, etc. Alder groves themselves serve as natural firebreaks since these broad-leaved trees are much less flammable than conifers.
Their foliage and leaf litter does not carry a fire well, their thin bark is sufficiently resistant to protect them from light surface fires. In addition, the light weight of alder seeds allows for easy dispersal by the wind. Although it outgrows coastal Douglas-fir for the first 25 years, it is shade intolerant and lives more than 100 years. Red alder is the Pacific Northwest's largest alder and the most plentiful and commercially important broad-leaved tree in the coastal Northwest. Groves of red alder 10 to 20 inches in diameter intermingle with young Douglas-fir forests west of the Cascades, attaining a maximum height of 100 to 110 feet in about sixty years and lose vigor as heart rot sets in. Alders help create conditions favorable for giant conifers that replace them. Alder root nodules; the catkins of some alder species have a degree of edibility, may be rich in protein. Reported to have a bitter and unpleasant taste, they are more useful for survival purposes; the wood of certain alder species is used to smoke various food items such as coffee and other seafood.
Most of the pilings that form the foundation of Venice were made from alder trees. Alder bark contains the anti-inflammatory salicin, metabolized into salicylic acid in the body; some Native American cultures use red alder bark to treat poison oak, insect bites, skin irritations. Blackfeet Indians have traditionally used an infusion made from the bark of red alder to treat lymphatic disorders and tuberculosis. Recent clinical studies have verified that red alder contains betulin and lupeol, compounds shown to be effective against a variety of tumors; the inner bark of the alder, as well as red osier dogwood, or chokecherry, is used by some Indigenous peoples of the Americas in smoking mixtures, known as kinnikinnick, to improve the taste of the bearberry leaf. Alder is illustrated in the coat of arms for the Austrian town of Grossarl. Electric guitars, most notably those manu
Crataegus called hawthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a genus of several hundred species of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe and North America. The name "hawthorn" was applied to the species native to northern Europe the common hawthorn C. monogyna, the unmodified name is so used in Britain and Ireland. The name is now applied to the entire genus and to the related Asian genus Rhaphiolepis; the generic epithet, Crataegus, is derived from the Greek kratos "strength" because of the great strength of the wood and akis "sharp", referring to the thorns of some species. The name haw an Old English term for hedge applies to the fruit. Crataegus species are shrubs or small trees growing to 5–15 m tall, with small pome fruit and thorny branches; the most common type of bark is smooth grey in young individuals, developing shallow longitudinal fissures with narrow ridges in older trees. The thorns are small sharp-tipped branches that arise either from other branches or from the trunk, are 1–3 cm long.
The leaves grow spirally arranged on long shoots, in clusters on spur shoots on the branches or twigs. The leaves of most species are somewhat variable in shape; the fruit, sometimes known as a "haw", is berry-like but structurally a pome containing from one to five pyrenes that resemble the "stones" of plums, etc. which are drupaceous fruit in the same subfamily. Hawthorns provide food and shelter for many species of birds and mammals, the flowers are important for many nectar-feeding insects. Hawthorns are used as food plants by the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species, such as the small eggar moth, E. lanestris. Haws are important for wildlife in winter thrushes and waxwings; the "haws" or fruits of the common hawthorn, C. monogyna, are edible, but the flavor has been compared to over-ripe apples. In the United Kingdom, they are sometimes used to make a homemade wine; the leaves are edible, if picked in spring when still young, are tender enough to be used in salads. The young leaves and flower buds, which are edible, are known as "bread and cheese" in rural England.
In the southern United States, fruits of three native species are collectively known as mayhaws and are made into jellies which are considered a delicacy. The Kutenai people of northwestern North America used black hawthorn fruit for food. On Manitoulin Island, some red-fruited species are called hawberries. During the pioneer days, white settlers ate these fruits during the winter as the only remaining food supply. People born on the island are now called "haweaters"; the fruits of Crataegus mexicana are known in Mexico as tejocotes and are eaten raw, cooked, or in jam during the winter. They are stuffed in the piñatas broken during the traditional pre-Christmas celebration known as Las Posadas, they are cooked with other fruits to prepare a Christmas punch. The mixture of tejocote paste and chili powder produces a popular Mexican candy called rielitos, manufactured by several brands; the fruits of the species Crataegus pinnatifida are tart, bright red, resemble small crabapple fruits. They are used to make many kinds of Chinese snacks, including haw tanghulu.
The fruits, which are called 山楂 shān zhā in Chinese, are used to produce jams, juices, alcoholic beverages, other drinks. In South Korea, a liquor called. In Iran, the fruits of Crataegus are known as zâlzâlak and eaten raw as a snack, or made into a jam known by the same name. A 2008 Cochrane Collaboration meta-analysis of previous studies concluded that evidence exists of "a significant benefit in symptom control and physiologic outcomes" for an extract of hawthorn used as an adjuvant in treating chronic heart failure. A 2010 review concluded that "Crataegus preparations hold significant potential as a useful remedy in the treatment of cardiovascular disease"; the review indicated the need for further study of the best dosages and concluded that although "many different theoretical interactions between Crataegus and orthodox medications have been postulated... none have been substantiated. Phytochemicals found in hawthorn include tannins, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, phenolic acids. Several species of hawthorn have been used in traditional medicine.
The products used are derived from C. monogyna, C. laevigata, or related Crataegus species, "collectively known as hawthorn", not distinguishing between these species. The dried fruits of Crataegus pinnatifida are used in traditional Chinese medicine as a digestive aid. A related species, Crataegus cuneata is used in a similar manner. Other species are used in herbal medicine where the plant is believed to strengthen cardiovascular function; the Kutenai people of northwestern North America used black hawthorn fruit for food, red hawthorn fruit in traditional medicine. Overdose can cause cardiac arrhythmia and
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are 600 extant species of oaks; the common name "oak" appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae. The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia and North Africa. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic; the second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains 100 species. Oaks have spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species. Many deciduous species are marcescent. In spring, a single oak tree produces small female flowers; the fruit is a nut called an oak nut borne in a cup-like structure known as a cupule. The acorns and leaves contain tannic acid, which helps to guard from insects.
The live oaks are distinguished for being evergreen, but are not a distinct group and instead are dispersed across the genus. The oak tree is a flowering plant. Oaks may be divided into two genera and a number of sections: The genus Quercus is divided into the following sections: Sect. Quercus, the white oaks of Europe and North America. Styles are short; the leaves lack a bristle on their lobe tips, which are rounded. The type species is Quercus robur. Sect. Mesobalanus, Hungarian oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; the section Mesobalanus is related to section Quercus and sometimes included in it. Sect. Cerris, the Turkey oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long; the inside of the acorn's shell is hairless. Its leaves have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Protobalanus, the canyon live oak and its relatives, in southwest United States and northwest Mexico. Styles short, acorns mature in 18 months and taste bitter; the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly.
Leaves have sharp lobe tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Sect. Lobatae, the red oaks of North America, Central America and northern South America. Styles long; the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly. The actual nut is encased in a thin, papery skin. Leaves have sharp lobe tips, with spiny bristles at the lobe; the ring-cupped oaks of eastern and southeastern Asia. Evergreen trees growing 10–40 m tall, they are distinct from subgenus Quercus in that they have acorns with distinctive cups bearing concrescent rings of scales. IUCN, ITIS, Encyclopedia of Life and Flora of China treats Cyclobalanopsis as a distinct genus, but some taxonomists consider it a subgenus of Quercus, it contains about 150 species. Species of Cyclobalanopsis are common in the evergreen subtropical laurel forests which extend from southern Japan, southern Korea, Taiwan across southern China and northern Indochina to the eastern Himalayas, in association with trees of genus Castanopsis and the laurel family. Interspecific hybridization is quite common among oaks but between species within the same section only and most common in the white oak group.
Inter-section hybrids, except between species of sections Mesobalanus, are unknown. Recent systematic studies appear to confirm a high tendency of Quercus species to hybridize because of a combination of factors. White oaks are unable to discriminate against pollination by other species in the same section; because they are wind pollinated and they have weak internal barriers to hybridization, hybridization produces functional seeds and fertile hybrid offspring. Ecological stresses near habitat margins, can cause a breakdown of mate recognition as well as a reduction of male function in one parent species. Frequent hybridization among oaks has consequences for oak populations around the world. Frequent hybridization and high levels of introgression have caused different species in the same populations to share up to 50% of their genetic information. Having high rates of hybridization and introgression produces genetic data that does not differentiate between two morphologically distinct species, but instead differentiates populations.
Numerous hypotheses have been proposed to explain how oak species are able to remain morphologically and ecologically distinct with such high levels of gene flow, but the phenomenon is still a mystery to botanists. The Fagaceae, or beech family, to which the oaks belong, is a slow evolving clade compared to other angiosperms, the patterns of hybridization and introgression in Quercus pose a gre
Acer is a genus of trees and shrubs known as maple. The genus is placed in the family Sapindaceae. There are 128 species, most of which are native to Asia, with a number appearing in Europe, northern Africa, North America. Only one species, Acer laurinum, extends to the Southern Hemisphere; the type species of the genus is the sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus, the most common maple species in Europe. The maples have recognizable palmate leaves and distinctive winged fruits; the closest relatives of the maples are the horse chestnuts. Most maples are trees growing to a height of 10–45 m. Others are shrubs less than 10 meters tall with a number of small trunks originating at ground level. Most species are deciduous, many are renowned for their autumn leaf colour, but a few in southern Asia and the Mediterranean region are evergreen. Most are shade-tolerant when young and are riparian, understory, or pioneer species rather than climax overstory trees. There are a few exceptions such as sugar maple.
Many of the root systems are dense and fibrous, inhibiting the growth of other vegetation underneath them. A few species, notably Acer cappadocicum produce root sprouts, which can develop into clonal colonies. Maples are distinguished by opposite leaf arrangement; the leaves in most species are palmate veined and lobed, with 3 to 9 veins each leading to a lobe, one of, central or apical. A small number of species differ in having palmate compound, pinnate compound, pinnate veined or unlobed leaves. Several species, including Acer griseum, Acer mandshuricum, Acer maximowiczianum and Acer triflorum, have trifoliate leaves. One species, Acer negundo, has pinnately compound leaves that may be trifoliate or may have five, seven, or nine leaflets. A few, such as Acer laevigatum and Acer carpinifolium, have pinnately veined simple leaves. Maple species, such as Acer rubrum, may be dioecious or polygamodioecious; the flowers are regular and borne in racemes, corymbs, or umbels. They have four or five sepals, four or five petals about 1 – 6 mm long, four to ten stamens about 6 – 10 mm long, two pistils or a pistil with two styles.
The ovary is superior and has two carpels, whose wings elongate the flowers, making it easy to tell which flowers are female. Maples flower in late winter or early spring, in most species with or just after the appearance of the leaves, but in some before the trees leaf out. Maple flowers are green, orange or red. Though individually small, the effect of an entire tree in flower can be striking in several species; some maples are an early spring source of nectar for bees. The distinctive fruits are called samaras, "maple keys", "helicopters", "whirlybirds" or "polynoses"; these seeds occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a "nutlet" attached to a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue. They are shaped to carry the seeds a considerable distance on the wind. People call them "helicopters" due to the way that they spin as they fall. During World War II, the US Army developed a special air drop supply carrier that could carry up to 65 pounds of supplies and was based on the Maple seed.
Seed maturation is in a few weeks to six months after flowering, with seed dispersal shortly after maturity. However, one tree can release hundreds of thousands of seeds at a time. Depending on the species, the seeds can be green to orange and big with thicker seed pods; the green seeds are released in pairs, sometimes with the stems still connected. The yellow seeds are released individually and always without the stems. Most species require stratification in order to germinate, some seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating; the genus Acer together with genus Dipteronia are either classified in a family of their own, the Aceraceae, or else classified as members of the family Sapindaceae. Recent classifications, including the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system, favour inclusion in Sapindaceae; when put in family Sapindaceae, genus Acer is put in subfamily Hippocastanoideae. The genus is subdivided by its morphology into a multitude of subsections. Fifty-four species of maples meet the International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria for being under threat of extinction in their native habitat.
The leaves are used as a food plant for the larvae of a number of the Lepidoptera order.. In high concentrations, like the greenstriped mapleworm, can feed on the leaves so much that they cause temporary defoliation of host maple trees. Aphids are very common sap-feeders on maples. In horticultural applications a dimethoate spray will solve this. In the United States and Canada, all maple species are threatened by the Asian long-horned beetle. Infestations have resulted in the destruction of thousands of maples and other tree species in Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Maples are affected by a number of fungal diseases. Several are susceptible to Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium species, which can cause significant local mortality. Sooty bark disease, caused by Cryptostroma species, can kill trees that are under stress due to drought. Death of maples can be caused by Phytophthora root rot and Ganoderma root decay. Maple leaves in late summer and autumn are disfigured by "tar spot" caused by Rhytisma species and mildew caused by Uncinula species, though these diseases do not have an adverse effect on th
Willows called sallows and osiers, form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, some broader-leaved species are referred to as sallow; some willows are creeping shrubs. Willows all have abundant watery bark sap, charged with salicylic acid, soft pliant, tough wood, slender branches, large, fibrous stoloniferous roots; the roots are remarkable for their toughness and tenacity to live, roots sprout from aerial parts of the plant. The leaves are elongated, but may be round to oval with serrated edges. Most species are deciduous. All the buds are lateral; the buds are covered by a single scale. The bud scale is fused into a cap-like shape, but in some species it wraps around and the edges overlap; the leaves are simple, feather-veined, linear-lanceolate. They are serrate, rounded at base, acute or acuminate; the leaf petioles are short, the stipules very conspicuous, resembling tiny, round leaves, sometimes remaining for half the summer.
On some species, they are small and caducous. In color, the leaves show a great variety of greens. Willows are dioecious, with male and female flowers appearing as catkins on separate plants; the staminate flowers are without either calyx with corolla. This scale is square and hairy; the anthers are orange or purple after the flower opens. The filaments are threadlike pale brown, bald; the pistillate flowers are without calyx or corolla, consist of a single ovary accompanied by a small, flat nectar gland and inserted on the base of a scale, borne on the rachis of a catkin. The ovary is one-celled, the style two-lobed, the ovules numerous. All willows take root readily from cuttings or where broken branches lie on the ground; the few exceptions include the goat peachleaf willow. One famous example of such growth from cuttings involves the poet Alexander Pope, who begged a twig from a parcel tied with twigs sent from Spain to Lady Suffolk; this twig was planted and thrived, legend has it that all of England's weeping willows are descended from this first one.
Willows are planted on the borders of streams so their interlacing roots may protect the bank against the action of the water. The roots are much larger than the stem which grows from them. Willows have a wide natural distribution from the tropics to the arctic zones and are extensively cultivated around the world. Willows are cross-compatible, numerous hybrids occur, both and in cultivation. A well-known ornamental example is the weeping willow, a hybrid of Peking willow from China and white willow from Europe; the hybrid cultivar'Boydii' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Numerous cultivars of Salix L. have been named over the centuries. New selections of cultivars with superior technical and ornamental characteristics have been chosen deliberately and applied to various purposes. Most Salix has become an important source for bioenergy production and for various ecosystem services; the first edition of the Checklist for Cultivars of Salix L. was compiled in 2015, which includes 854 cultivar epithets with accompanying information.
The International Poplar Commission of the FAO UN holds the International Cultivar Registration Authority for the genus Salix. The ICRA for Salix produces and maintains The International Register of Cultivars of Salix L.. Willows are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as the mourning cloak butterfly. Ants, such as wood ants, are common on willows inhabited by aphids, coming to collect aphid honeydew, as sometimes do wasps. A small number of willow species were planted in Australia, notably as erosion-control measures along watercourses, they are now regarded as invasive weeds which occupy extensive areas across southern Australia and are considered'Weeds of National Significance'. Many catchment management authorities are replacing them with native trees. Substantial research undertaken from 2006 has identified that willows inhabit an unoccupied niche when they spread across the bed of shallow creeks and streams and if removed, there is a potential water saving of up to 500 ML/per year per hectare of willow canopy area, depending on willow species and climate zone.
This water could benefit the environment or provision of local water resources during dry periods. To aid management of willows, a remote sensing method has been developed to map willow area along and in streams a