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Astragalus membranaceus

Zones 5-9.  Astragalus forms a clump approximately 3-4 feet high.  Prefers full sun or partial shade.  A member of the Fabaceae family and an important plant in Chinese herbal medicine.

Used as a tonic herb and to stimulate the immune system.  Also shows hepatic, hypotensive and diuretic properties.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo by Doronenko (2007), Wikipedia.

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Astrantia major

Astrantia needs fertile, moisture-retentive soil, though it will grow in most soil types.  Plant in full sun or partial shade in zones 4-9.  Tidy mound of leaves through which the plant sends up a multiple flower stalk.  Beautiful and underused plant that produces gem colored flowers in late summer and fall.

The whole plant has been used as a diuretic and the root has a history of use as a purgative.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo by C. Gondolfi (2012).

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Baptisia australis

Wild indigo grows 18-24″ high in zones 3-10.  Plant in full sun.  Produces purple lupine-like flowers in late spring to mid summer.  Drought tolerant once established.

Traditional medicinal uses of this plant include as an immune stimulant, alterative, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, emmenagogue and stimulant.  Native Americans and eclectic physicians used the plant for infections.  Baptisia contains high levels of polysaccharides that can stimulate immune activity.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont, Wikipedia.

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Baptisia leucantha (Baptisia alba)

White indigo is a bushy perennial 10-30” tall.  A member of the pea family.  Flowers bloom April-June followed by pea-like pods.  Dry soil in sun.   Recent studies suggest that there may be immune system stimulating activity.  Used by Native Americans historically for colic, as an astringent on cuts and wounds, and for typhoid and scarlet fever.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

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Belamcanda chinensis

Blackberry lily is a short lived perennial with sword shaped leaves and orange flowers with maroon spots.  A dramatic and exotic plant that grows to 36″ in sun or partial shade in moisture retentive, but well drained soil.

A traditional Chinese herbal medicine used mainly in lung and liver complaints.  It is classified as a bitter cooling herb and used to lower fevers and reduce inflammation.  Studies have found that it is effective against a number of bacterial, fungal and viral organisms.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo by Bouda at fr. Wikipedia. 2004.

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Callirhoe involucrata

Wine cups are a low growing perennial to 8” in dry sandy soil in the sun.  Flowers July-August.  The leaves and root have been used as a food source.  Medicinally it was historically used as an anodyne.  Not generally seen in modern herbalism.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

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Camassia quamash

A sure sign of spring in the Northwest are the suddenly blue fields.  Camas was an important food for the native peoples of North America.  The bulb was collected in the fall and slow roasted for a nutritious (and reportedly, delicious) food.  Medicinally, there are reports of a preparation made to assist with childbirth.  Regardless, it is a beautiful plant in a formal or naturalized setting.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

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Campanula parryi

Parry’s Bellflower is a native of the American southwest and a lovely and unusual addition to the garden.  This campanula grows in zones 4-8 in moist soil up to a foot in height.  What it lacks in height it makes up for in blue blooms that are attractive to bees and butterflies.  Prefers full sun to partial shade.  The leaves have been eaten and the root used as a poultice for bruises.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

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Campanula primulifolia

Lovely Spanish campanula is one of the taller growing campanulas, reaching up to 3 feet in height and forming a clump shaped base.  This beauty will flourish in full sun to partial shade and produce masses of blue to purple blossoms that are attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

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Centaurea montana

Cornflower grows in zones 3-9.  The perennial gets up to 1 1/2 feet tall and flowers from May to August.  Plant in full sun and in well drained soil.  It is a great plant for bees and butterflies.  Not generally used in modern herbalism but is still used in Europe for an eye wash…for blue eyes only.  Other historical uses include as an antitussive, astringent, diuretic and emmenagogue.

This information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, treat or prescribe for any disease or medical condition.  Information on herbs and supplements has not been evaluated by the FDA.

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