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Skin & Hair | Plant Lexica

Skin & Hair

  • Botanical: Pirus Malus
  • Family: Pomaceae
  • Known as: Wild Apple. Malus communis.
  • Old Use: medical, culinary, industry
  • Aroma: floral, sweet


Apple trees are typically 4–12 m (13–39 ft) tall at maturity, with a dense, twiggy crown. The leaves are 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) long, alternate, simple, with a serrated margin. The flowers are borne in corymbs, and have five petals, which may be white, pink or red, and are perfect, with usually red stamens that produce copious pollen, and a half-inferior ovary; flowering occurs in the spring after 50–80 growing degree days (varying greatly according to subspecies and cultivar). Apples require cross-pollination between individuals by insects (typically bees, which freely visit the flowers for both nectar and pollen); all are self-sterile, and (with the exception of a few specially developed cultivars) self-pollination is impossible, making pollinating insects essential. Several Malus species, including domestic apples, hybridize freely. They are used as food plants by the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species; see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Malus. The fruit is a globose pome, varying in size from 1–4 cm (0.39–1.57 in) diameter in most of the wild species, to 6 cm (2.4 in) in M. sylvestris sieversii, 8 cm (3.1 in) in M. domestica, and even larger in certain cultivated orchard apples. The centre of the fruit contains five carpels arranged star-like, each containing one or two seeds.

Arar Tree
  • Botanical: Tetraclinis articulata
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Known as: Tetraclinis, Araar, Thuja articulata, Sandarac, Sandarac Tree, Barbary Thuja, Sandarakbaum, Gliederzypresse, Berberthuja
  • Old Use: medical

Arar Tree

It is a small, slow-growing tree, to 6–15 m (rarely 20 m) tall and 0.5 m (rarely 1 m) trunk diameter, often with two or more trunks from the base. The foliage forms in open sprays with scale-like leaves 1–8 mm long and 1–1.5 mm broad; the leaves are arranged in opposite decussate pairs, with the successive pairs closely then distantly spaced, so forming apparent whorls of four. The cones are 10–15 mm long, green ripening brown in about 8 months from pollination, and have four thick scales arranged in two opposite pairs. The seeds are 5–7 mm long and 2 mm broad, with a 3–4 mm broad papery wing on each side

Birch Sweet
  • Botanical: Betula lenta
  • Family: Betulaceae
  • Known as: Betula alba, Black Birch, Cherry Birch, Mahogany Birch, Spice Birch, Maibaum, Frühlingsbaum, Besenbaum, Besenbirke, Bork, Bark, Hexenbesen, Hängebirke, Moorbirke, Rauhbirke, Sandbirke, Warzenbirke, Weissbirke
  • Old Use: culinary and medicinal use
  • Aroma: sweet

Birch Sweet

It is a  A medium sized tree with a single straight trunk reaching up to 60 feet tall.

Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, ovate, with an acute tip and cordate base, singly or irregularly doubly, sharply serrate margins, 2 to 4 inches long, petiole is stout and pubescent, dark shiny green above, paler below.

Black Cutch
  • Botanical: Acacia catechu
  • Family: Leguminosae
  • Known as: Senegalia catechu, khair, kachu, catechu, cachou, cutchtree, black cutch, black catechu, Gerber Akazie, Katechu Akazie
  • Old Use: medical, industry, culinary

Black Cutch

Plant is of small to moderate size of about 15m hight. Bark is dark grey or grayish-brown.

Leaves are bipinnately compound, with 9-30 pairs of pinnae and a glandular rachis; leaflets 16-50 pairs, oblong-linear, 2-6 mm long, glabrous or pubescent. Flowers are 5-10 cm long (auxiliary spikes, pentamerous), white to pale yellow and with a campanulate calyx of 1-1.5 mm length, and a corolla of 2.5-3 mm length. Stamens are numerous and far exerted from the corolla, with white to yellowish white filaments.

Black Pine
  • Botanical: Pinus nigra
  • Family: Pinaceae
  • Known as: Pinus laricio, Schwarzkiefer, Schwarzföhre
  • Old Use: medicine, industry
  • Aroma: earthy

Black Pine

Pinus nigra is a large coniferous evergreen tree, growing to 20–55 metres (66–180 ft) tall at maturity. The bark is grey to yellow-brown, and is widely split by flaking fissures into scaly plates, becoming increasingly fissured with age. The leaves ("needles") are thinner and more flexible in western populations.

The ovulate and pollen cones appear from May to June. The mature seed cones are 5–10 cm (rarely to 11 cm) long, with rounded scales; they ripen from green to pale grey-buff or yellow-buff in September to November, about 18 months after pollination. The seeds are dark grey, 6–8 mm long, with a yellow-buff wing 20–25 mm long; they are wind-dispersed when the cones open from December to April. Sexual maturity is reached at 15–40 years; large seed crops are produced at 2–5 year intervals. P. nigra is moderately fast growing, at about 30–70 centimetres (12–28 in) per year. It usually has a rounded conic form, that becomes irregular with age. The tree can be long-lived, with some trees over 500 years old. It needs full sun to grow well, is intolerant of shade, and is resistant to snow and ice damage.

Black Poplar
  • Botanical: Populus nigra
  • Family: Salicaceae
  • Known as: Schwarz Pappel, Saarbaum
  • Old Use: medical, culinary, industry

Black Poplar

It is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree, reaching 20–30 m (rarely 40 m) tall, with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter, though some old individuals have grown much bigger (more than 3 meters DBH for several trees in France). The leaves are diamond-shaped to triangular, 5–8 cm long and 6–8 cm broad, green on both surfaces.[2] The species is dioecious (male and female flowers on different plants), with flowers in catkins and pollination by wind. The black poplar grows in low-lying areas of moist ground.

  • Botanical: Menyanthes trifoliata
  • Family: Menyanthaceae
  • Known as: Common bog bean, Bachgräslein, Bachgräsli, Biberklee, Bitterblad, Bitterblatt, Bitterklee, Bocksbohnenblätter, Bohnenblad, Butterklee, Dreeblatt, Dreiblatt, Dreiblättriger Fieberklee, Feverkrut, Fieberklee, Fröschekohl, Gallkraut, Kreuzklee
  • Old Use: once-dreaded scurvy


It is a green, glabrous plant, with creeping rootstock and procumbent stem, varying in length according to situation, covered by the sheaths of the leaves, which are on long, fleshy, striated petioles and three-partite, the leaflets being entire and about 2 inches long and 1 broad. It blossoms from May to July, the flowers being borne on long stalks, 6 to 18 inches high, longer than the leaves and clustered together in a thick short spike, rendering them very conspicuous. The corollas, 3/4 inch across, are outwardly rose-coloured and inwardly white and hairy, with reddish stamens. The Buckbean is one of the prettiest of our wild flowers deserving of cultivation in the garden, where it grows and thrives well, if planted in peat with water constantly round the roots.

  • Botanical: Calendula officinalis
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Known as: Marigold, Ringelblume,
  • Old Use: medical, culinary, industry


Calendula officianalis is a short-lived aromatic herbaceous perennial, growing to 80 cm (31 in) tall, with sparsely branched lax or erect stems. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm (2–7 in) long, hairy on both sides, and with margins entire or occasionally waved or weakly toothed. The inflorescences are yellow, comprising a thick capitulum or flowerhead 4–7 cm diameter surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts; in the wild plant they have a single ring of ray florets surrounding the central disc florets. The disc florets are tubular and hermaphrodite, and generally of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral ray florets. The flowers may appear all year long where conditions are suitable. The fruit is a thorny curved achene.

  • Botanical: Ricinus communis
  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • Known as: Castor Oil Plant, Ricinus communis, Castorbean,
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal;


It is a fast-growing, suckering perennial shrub that can reach the size of a small tree (around 12 metres or 39 feet), but it is not cold hardy.

The glossy leaves are 15–45 centimetres (5.9–17.7 in) long, long-stalked, alternate and palmate with 5–12 deep lobes with coarsely toothed segments. In some varieties they start off dark reddish purple or bronze when young, gradually changing to a dark green, sometimes with a reddish tinge, as they mature.

Cayenne Pepper
  • Botanical: Capsicum annuum
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Known as: Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum chinense, Paprika, Peperoni, Pepperoni, Pfefferoni, Pfefferschoten, Chilli, Chillie, Chilie, Chile, Cayennepfeffer
  • Old Use: culinary, medicinal use

Cayenne Pepper

It is a shrubby perennial plant 2 to 6 feet high. Branches angular, usually enlarged and slightly purple at the nodes; petioles medium; peduncles slender, often in pairs, and longer than the fruit; calyx cup-shaped, clasping base of fruit which is red, ovate, and long; seeds small and flat, from ten to twenty-nine. The cuticle of the pericarp is uniformly striated and in this particular is distinct from other species.


  • Botanical: Chelidonium majus
  • Family: Papaveraceae
  • Known as: Chelidonium, tetterwort, Schöllkraut
  • Old Use: bloodroot, wart weed


Greater celandine is a perennial herb with an erect habit, and reaches 30 to 120 cm high. The leaves are pinnate with lobed and wavy-edged margins, 30 cm long. When injured, the plant exudes a yellow to orange latex. The flowers consist of four yellow petals, each about 1 cm long, with two sepals. A double-flowered variety occurs naturally. The flowers appear from late spring to summer in umbelliform cymes of about 4 flowers. The seeds are small and black, borne in a long capsule. Each has an elaiosome, which attracts ants to disperse the seeds (myrmecochory). It is considered an aggressive invasive plant in natural areas (both woods and fields). Control is obtained mainly via pulling or spraying the plant before seed dispersal.

Centaury European
  • Botanical: Centaurium erythraea
  • Family: Gentianaceae
  • Known as: common centaury, Echtes Tausendgüldenkraut
  • Old Use: medical, industry

Centaury European

This is an erect biennial herb which reaches half a meter in height. It grows from a small basal rosette and bolts a leafy, erect stem which may branch. The triangular leaves are arranged oppositely on the stem and the erect inflorescences emerge from the stem and grow parallel to it, sometimes tangling with the foliage. Each inflorescence may contain many flowers. The petite flower is pinkish-lavender and about a centimeter across, flat-faced with yellow anthers. The fruit is a cylindrical capsule.

Chamomile Corn
  • Botanical: Anthemis arvensis
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Known as: Mayweed, Scentless Chamomile, Chamomile, Kamille, Matricaria chamomilla, German chamomile

Chamomile Corn

The whole plant is covered in short hairs. The leaves are finely divided with narrow, parallel-sided segments, pointed at the tips and have a pleasant, chamomile-like scent. The 'flowers', borne singly on stout stalks, are technically compound flower-heads made up of numerous small florets and resemble a Daisy. The central florets are yellow, while around the edge are the ray-florets, which have a single long white petal pointing outwards.

Chamomile Stinking
  • Botanical: Anthemis cotula
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Known as: Chamomile, Kamille, Matricaria chamomilla, German chamomile

Chamomile Stinking

Anthemis cotula is an annual glandular plant with a harsh taste and an acrid smell. Its height varies from 12 inches (28 centimeters) to 24 inches (56 centimeters).
The leaves of the plant sometimes have very fine and soft hairs on the upper surface, although the plant is mostly hairless. There is no leaf stalk; leaves grow immediately from the stems. The leaves are pinnate in shape, with many extremely thin lobes, and can be around 1 or 2 inches long (2.5 to 5 centimeters).

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.

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