• borst
  • lavender
  • dandelion

Polygalaceae

Chinese Rhubarb
  • Botanical: Rheum officinale
  • Family: Polygonaceae
  • Known as: yào yòng dà huáng, Essiac tea, Handlappiger Rhabarber, Handförmiger Rhabarber, Zier-Rhabarber, Kronrhabarberstaude, Tangutischer Rhabarber, Medizinal-Rhabarber, Arznei-Rhabarber, Chinesischer Rhabarber, Kanton-Rhabarber
  • Old Use: medical, culinary
  • Aroma: spicy

Chinese Rhubarb

Herbs large, 1.5-2 m tall. Rhizomes and roots stout. Stem stout, hollow, finely sulcate, with white hairs, especially above and at nodes. Petiole of basal leaf terete, ca. as long as blade or slightly shorter, pubescent; leaf blade orbicular, rarely broadly ovate, large, 30-50 cm in diam., or longer than wide, abaxially pubescent, adaxially glabrous, rarely pubescent along veins, basal veins 5-7, base subcordate; palmatilobate, apex subacute. Stem leaves smaller upward; ocrea large, to 15 cm, broad, outside with dense hairs. Panicles large; branches spreading. Pedicel 3-3.5 mm, slender, jointed below middle. Flowers 4- or 5-fascicled. Tepals 6, green to yellow-white, elliptic or narrowly elliptic, 2-2.5 × 1.2-1.5 mm. Stamens shorter than perianth. Style deflexed; stigma inflated. Fruit oblong-ellipsoid, 8-10 × 7-9 mm; wings ca. 3 mm wide, with longitudinal veins near margin. Seeds broadly ovoid.

Ratanhia
  • Botanical: Krameria lappacea
  • Family: Polygalaceae
  • Known as: Para rhatany, Peruvian rhatany, Ratanhia, Rote Ratanhia, Payta Ratanhia
  • Old Use: medical

Ratanhia

It is a low shrub with large red flowers. The root, as found in commerce, consists of long, cylindrical pieces, varying in thickness from 1/4 to 1/2 inch or more (long Rhatany), or a short, thick portion, knotted, and as large as a man's fist (short, or stumpy Rhatany).

The bark of the root is thin, readily separable, rough and scaly; of a dark, reddish-brown colour outside, and bright brownish-red within. It breaks with a somewhat fibrous fracture, is tough and difficult to powder, and has a strong, purely astringent taste, tingeing the saliva red when chewed. The central woody portion is very hard and almost tasteless. Neither bark nor wood has any marked odour. As the virtues of Rhatany reside in the bark, the smaller pieces are preferable.

Senega Snakeroot
  • Botanical: Polygala senega
  • Family: Polygalaceae
  • Known as: Senega Snakeroot, Senegaroot, Rattlesnake root, Mountain flax,
  • Old Use: medical

Senega Snakeroot

This species is a perennial herb with multiple stems up to 50 centimeters tall. The stems are usually unbranched, but some old plants can have branching stems. A mature plant can have up to 70 stems growing from a hard, woody rootstock that spreads horizontally. The lance-shaped leaves are alternately arranged. The lower leaves are reduced and scale-like. The inflorescence is a spike of rounded white or greenish flowers. The fruit is a capsule containing two hairy black seeds. The root is twisted and conical, with a scent somewhat like wintergreen and a very pungent taste. There are two root morphs; a northern morph growing in Canada and toward Minnesota has larger roots up to 15 centimeters long by 1.2 wide which are dark brown and sometimes purplish toward the top, and a southern morph found in the southeastern United States that has smaller, yellow-brown roots.

Tinder Fungus
  • Botanical: Fomes fomentarius
  • Family: Polyporaceae
  • Known as: Polyporus fomentarius, tinder fungus, false tinder fungus, hoof fungus, tinder conk, tinder polypore, ice man fungus, Zunderschwamm
  • Old Use: medical, industry
  • Aroma: earthy

Tinder Fungus

Fomes fomentarius has a fruit body of between 5 and 45 centimetres (2.0 and 17.7 in) across, 3 and 25 cm (1.2 and 9.8 in) wide and 2 and 25 cm (0.8 and 9.8 in) thick, which attaches broadly to the tree on which the fungus is growing. While typically shaped like a horse's hoof, it can also be more bracket-like with an umbonate attachment to the substrate. The species typically has broad, concentric ridges, with a blunt and rounded margin. The flesh is hard and fibrous, and a cinnamon brown colour. The upper surface is tough, bumpy, hard and woody, varying in colour, usually a light brown or grey. The margin is whitish during periods of growth. The hard crust is from 1 to 2 mm (0.04 to 0.08 in) thick, and covers the tough flesh. The underside has round pores of a cream colour when new, maturing to brown, though they darken when handled. The pores are circular, and there are 2–3 per millimetre. The tubes are 2 to 7 mm (0.08 to 0.28 in) long and a rusty brown colour.

The colouration and size of the fruit body can vary based on where the specimen has grown. Silvery-white, greyish and nearly black specimens have been known. The darkest fruit bodies were previously classified as Fomes nigricans, but this is now recognised as a synonym of Fomes fomentarius. The colour is typically lighter at lower latitudes and altitudes, as well as on fruit bodies in the Northern Hemisphere that grow on the south side of trees.