Scots pine is the only pine native to northern Europe, forming either pure forests or mixed with Norway spruce, common juniper, silver birch, European rowan, Eurasian aspen and other hardwood species. The Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, Scotland, has the largest recorded trunk girth in Britain and experts estimate it to be 2,000 to 3,000 years old, although it may be a remnant of a post-Roman Christian site and around 1,500 years old. Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis. It is thought to have been first cultivated in Britain in 1629. Often delicate and pretty in the small details, especially when you look through a magnifying glass! I do hope you will enjoy reading my blog and learning a bit more about the fascination for weeds or wild flowers! Ten yews in Britain are believed to predate the 10th century. Preparations from Larch have been used externally for eczema and psorias, as inhalants for respiratory tract infections and also internally for cystitis. Pine, fir and others are also conifers . It makes a good firewood. Usually they are MONOECIOUS, possessing separate male and female cones. were also reviewed. Some specimens live longer but the age of yews is often overestimated. It is readily identified by its combination of fairly short, blue-green leaves and attractive orange-red bark high up in the tree. Pei Gen Xiao, in Medicinal Plants, 2015 3.2.2.1 Genomics Conifers have dominated forests for more than 200 million years and are of huge ecological and economic importance. Ingestion of 50-100g of needles can cause death. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of the satin beauty moth. Common juniper provides dense cover for nesting birds, such as the goldcrest and firecrest, and, in northern upland areas, the black grouse. Horticulture has been my career since the early eighties after starting off learning and practicing Floristry in my native Holland (The Netherlands). This kills dividing cells, and has a particular effect on rapidly-dividing cancer cells. The leaves have been used internally in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, hiccup, indigestion, rheumatism and epilepsy. b. Ssp. Comfrey Medicinal Uses Comfrey has several medicinal actions. Medicinal utilization of pines differs in terms of purposes such as illnesses (asthma, flu, tuberculosis, psoriasis, hemorrhoids, etc. c. Ssp. Picea is the sole genus in the subfamily Piceoideae.Spruces are large trees, from about 20–60 m (about 60–200 ft) tall when mature, and have whorled branches and conical form. Resin is extracted by tapping the trunk, it has a wide range of uses including wood preservatives, medicinal etc. The Dunkeld Hybrid Larch was first discovered at Dunkeld, E. Perth, in 1904 among progeny from seed collected from L. kaempferi growing in mixed stands and nowadays planted for forestry more than either parent, occasionally backcrossing and often originating anew. The second, docetaxel (Taxotere), was first made from the needles of the European yew tree. Some of my favorite ways to use them include adding needles to shortbread cookies, making pine needle syrup, infusing them in alcohol, and making beard balm. Uses of gymnosperms for medicinal value Anticancer drug Paclitaxel (PTX) commonly known as Taxol, is a type of alkaloid extracted from the bark of a conifer called Taxus bervifolia. Bark used in rheumatism. An infusion of leaves is taken or inhaled or a drop of the oil of pine is inhaled as steam to relief coughs, catarrh, laryngeal and bronchial infections. Several cultivars are grown for ornamental purposes in parks and large gardens, of which ‘Aurea’, ‘Beuvronensis’, ‘Frensham’, and ‘Gold Coin’ have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. Yew poisonings are relatively common in both domestic and wild animals who consume the plant accidentally, resulting in “countless fatalities in livestock”. Conifer Health has been providing managed healthcare services to health systems, their health plans and managed populations for more than 30 years. Thanks are due for the information found on various websites (mainly Wikipedia) and books for which I provide links. Blue and yellow for general interest, green for wildlife and other uses and pink where there are medicinal uses or warnings about use. Conifer Medical Center would like to partner with you in that endeavor. The subgenera are distinguished by both cone and foliage characters, but as noted below, are not supported by recent molecular studies, which generally divide the genus into Asian and North Ameri… Its scaly cones vary from 9 to 17cm in size, disintegrate on getting mature and releasing the seeds. The yew is traditionally and regularly found in churchyards in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Northern France (particularly Normandy). larches, are deciduous. The most famous use of juniper berries is in the flavouring of gin. In Britain it now occurs naturally only in Scotland. In addition to these, they have also been used in making anti-cancer medicine. (See the link below for the history of Taxol development.). A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea / p aɪ ˈ s iː ə /, a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the Earth. Conifers The conifers are a group of about 588 species of trees and shrubs that include many of the best-known plants in the world. Gymnosperm, any vascular plant that reproduces by means of an exposed seed, or ovule—unlike angiosperms, or flowering plants, whose seeds are enclosed by mature ovaries, or fruits. It is toxic due to a group of chemicals called taxine alkaloids. The aril is not poisonous, it is gelatinous and very sweet tasting. Medicinal plants, also called medicinal herbs, have been discovered and used in traditional medicine practices since prehistoric times. Wood – strong, heavy and durable. communis is a spreading shrub to erect tree and very local throughout the B.I. The essential oil is also used in aromatherapy and perfumery. It is used in the treatment of many diseases including cystitis, eruptions, headaches, heart and kidney problems, rheumatism etc. Unfortunately, the discovery that these – and other, now critically endangered species of Yew – had medicinal properties, led to illegal logging which may still be taking place. Uses Ethnobotanic use. But native plants are survivors and much more interesting than first appearances would seem. Never taken in pregnancy. Larix kaempferi or Japanese Larch is the other non-native larch used for ornamental purposes in parks and gardens. All conifers bear seeds inside cones, woody protective structures. There are seven families of conifers. Larix x marschlinskii ( L. decidua x L. kaempferi) or Dunkeld Hybrid Larch. Natural therapists do use conifer extracts in herbal medicines and aromatheraphy, but proper use requires expert training. Uses of conifers Pulp and paper making, Furniture, synthetic e.g. Publication Author Rushforth. nana is a procumbent matted shrub on rocks and moorland mostly in upland areas. They are commonly used for aromatherapy treatments by the natural therapists. Besides their medicinal uses, pine needles are just plain tasty. You can carry out a number of practical investigations yourself to research the inhibitory effects of conifer extracts on plant and microbial growth. Abies Alba, also popularly known as Silver Fir, is an evergreen tree that grows at higher altitudes between 300 to 1700 meters. Yew hedges are incredibly dense, offering protection and nesting opportunities for many birds. They … Succinum is the Latin term for a substance that is ultimately derived from sap (succus is Latin for sap or juice). Oct 20, 2013 - All sorts of interesting ways in which conifers... i.e. Due to their several uses conifers have come under threat as a result of human activities of exploitation coupled with degradation of forest areas, which in effect have put about 34% of these species at the brink of extinction. hemisphaerica is a low compact shrub and confined to maritime low cliffs in W Cornwall. Conifers are said to have medicinal uses especially by the herbal doctors. These woods are also widely used for plyw… Image by Annie Cavanagh. Commercial uses: Jack pine is important timber species in the Lake States of the United States and Canada. The goldcrest and firecrest nest in broadleaf woodland with yew understoreys. … They add a peppery winter warmth to Douglass Fir infused eggnog or pine needle vodka.A simple pine needle salad dressing can turn a green salad into a warming winter meal. Many parts of the tree were used for other medicinal purposes, including as an abortifacient. Canadian Indians used jack pine wood as frames in their canoes. They have many benefits, and all parts of the tree have edible and medicinal uses, including the needles, bark, and resin. WELCOME TO USA ONLINE SHOPPING CENTER. communis and the other 2 sspp. King Edward I of England ordered yew trees to be planted in churchyards to offer some protection to the buildings. Conifers are magnificent, awe-inspiring plants that have resisted 300 million years of whatever the planet has thrown at them! The crisp, clean, and woodsy aromas of evergreen oils have grounding properties that h I have been a free-lance horticulturist/gardener for well over 6 years, but have so much to share about my passion for plants and in particular all native/wild plants, that I thought it would be a good idea to start this blog with help of my mentor, Lynne, and moral support by my partner Matt, who also has to do all the proof-reading. Externally, the leaves have been used in a steam bath as a treatment for rheumatism. Conifer, any member of the division Pinophyta, class Pinopsida, order Pinales, made up of living and fossil gymnospermous plants that usually have needle-shaped evergreen leaves and seeds attached to the scales of a woody bracted cone. The common name arbor vitae is from Latin meaning 'tree of life' and refers to alleged medicinal properties of the plant. The resin is harvested from some conifers, especially pine trees, for its many commercial uses. disappear and overharvesting for commercial uses reduces stocks of wild medicinal plant material, there is a corresponding drop in the availability of the plants used as the first and last resort for health care by many rural populations. Conifer cones are made up of scales that grow out of a center stalk. The pine has also been used as a source of rosin and turpentine. From the high ground on which it stood a series of terraces bordered by balustrades and urns descended in the steel-engraving style to a small irregular lake with an asphalt edge overhung by rare weeping conifers.To the right and left, the famous weedless lawns studded with "specimen" trees The most important sources of softwood lumber in the world are trees in the pine family, especially species of pine, spruce, larch, and Douglas-fir, which are widely used for dimensional timber for building construction and boat building, and for general construction uses such as utility poles, doors, and cabinetry. Here, the lab scientists discovered that the extracts of Pacific yew bark showed cytotoxic activity. While evergreen essential oils are enjoyed throughout the year, they hold an extra special appeal during winter, especially during Christmas time. For each of these maladies they had one or morecures. The orange-red bark is a key feature of Scots Pine. Spruce Tree Identification Spruce trees ( Picea spp.) The yew tree is a highly toxic plant that has occasionally been used medicinally, mainly in the treatment of chest complaints. Anyone in need of a full belly laugh should read the top paragraph of page 579 of Mushrooms Demystified (1986) by David Arora, which addresses the edibility (or rather inedibility ) of this species. Once again, like many other species of oak, the chinkapin oak is native to most of the United States east of Colorado as well as in two states sharing a border with the Centennial state, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Other Common Names: Arbor vitae, American arbor-vitae, eastern arborvitae, white cedar, false white cedar, northern white-cedar, yellow cedar, tuja (Swedish), tuya (Spanish), thuya d'occident (French), Lebensbaum (German). All conifers have 2 types of cones – pollen cones and seed cones. The hard seeds disperse undamaged in their droppings. Christmas is a time for warmth, reflection, family, traditions, and creating memories. Conifers are said to have medicinal uses especially by the herbal doctors. There are also frequent intermediates between ssp. The eleven species in this treatment are: Syn: Pinus Linnaeus sect. Mycorrhizae are composed of strands of cells ( mycelia ) that grow about in the soil; these strands are quite numerous and extensive, and the conifer uses them to bring water and minerals to itself. The Larch is a source of turpentine which is extracted by boring holes into the trunk. Chemicals with insecticidal and medicinal properties have been extracted from the wood. For more on the medicinal constituents of Fomitopsis pinicola, consult Marley’s book Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi (2009), p. 116-119. Conifer trees tend to have few other species of plants growing under them and experiments can be done which show that pine needles have an inhibitory effect on the germination of seeds such as cress. The little cones are very attractive too and attached on the branches which often drop out of the trees making them useful for Christmas wreaths and decoration. Undercover federal agents. Luckily, those aren’t the only results. Reproduction Huge amounts of pollen, which is produced in the male cones, is transported by the wind with the hope that some pollen will reach the female cones of another tree and fertilize them. Illegal logging of yew trees, probably for their bark. Other medicinal uses of gymnosperms include taxol, the drug extracted from the bark of the Pacific yews that has been successful in treating ovarian tumors. It is also widely used as material for bonsai. Plants synthesise hundreds of chemical compounds for functions including defence against insects, fungi, diseases, and herbivorous mammals.. Historical and archaeological records indicate that it also occurred in Wales and England until about 300–400 years ago, becoming extinct there due to over-exploitation and grazing; it has been re-introduced in these countries. A fast growing, wind-resistant tree, it can be used in shelterbelts. The Chehalis crush the leaves and soak them in water which is used to bathe a baby or an old person. See … This week I was inspired to write something about the Ethnobotanical uses of conifers! The dwarf cultivars ‘Blue Dwarf’, growing to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall and broad, and ‘Nana’, growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall and broad, have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. The seeds themselves are poisonous and bitter, but are opened and eaten by some bird species including hawfinches, greenfinches and great tits. genus Hesperopeuce Lemmon; includes only T. mertensiana), and subgen. A short description of both its parent first: Larix decidua or European Larch is probably the more widely planted larch in cultivation. First of all, all Spruce are conifers, meaning that they produce cones, but not all conifers are Spruce. A number of birds eat the fruit, including the fieldfare, song thrush, mistle thrush and ring ouzel. Scientific Classification of our Native plants, Inside and Outside the Ancient Yew at Church Preen, Shropshire, Juniper foliage and ‘berries’, which are in fact the female cones. The reason for doing this blog on native plants, or weeds as most people call them, is that they are so much ignored and in the worst scenario, hated and chemically attacked. These trees produce pulpwood, lumber for construction, telephone poles, fence posts, mine timbers, and railroad ties. Posts about medicinal uses written by c2london Acorn growing on the chinkapin oak. Spruce cones are very visible throughout the growing season but primarily in the fall and range in size from about 3″-6″ in length. Yew branches touching the ground take root and sprout again; this became a symbol of death, rebirth and therefore immortality. (Learn more about medicinal uses for conifer needles in my book Healing Herbal Infusions !) The seed is covered in a red, or rarely a yellow fleshy berry, called an aril. It has been widely used in the United States for the Christmas tree trade. Millions of patients with cancer have been treated with the drug since it was licensed in 1993. Relict populations can be found in the Atlas Mountains of Africa. In the 1960s, the US National Cancer Institute carried out a major programme to discover new anti-cancer drugs in plants. In Việt Nam it was locally used for house construction. The precursors of the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel (taxol) were later shown to be synthesized easily from extracts of the leaves of European yew which is a much more renewable source than the bark of the Pacific yew. Hesperopeuce (Lemmon) Ueno (syn. The plain species is not often seen or planted in cultivation but has 3 known native subspecies: a. Ssp. All pictures are by Matt Summers otherwise mentioned. Oct 20, 2013 - All sorts of interesting ways in which conifers... i.e. have four sided needles that attach to a small peg on the branch. Conifer tree identification is also possible by looking at the cones and branches to spot some subtle differences. When working with essential oils that are conifers, we have to be careful to not assume that every single oil distilled from a conifer behaves the same way or has the same safety precautions. Not for the casual reader.]. Besides their medicinal uses, pine needles are just plain tasty. The bark is a source of tannin.. (stated by Robert Lundberg, in his 2002 book Historical Lute Construction), Fruit is very sweet and gelatinous, most people find it delicious though some find it sickly[Ken Fern from PFAF]. The collected material is more commonly referred to as amber, a term derived from an Arabic word anbar, that had been used for another and unrelated substance, which we call ambergris or grey amber (a secretion from whales found in small lumps washed up on the beach). A large, to 50 m. tall, specimen tree and unusual for a conifer in that it is deciduous and has attractive bunches of needle like leaves, which become a beautiful yellow in autumn. Resin is extracted by tapping the trunk, it has a wide range of uses including wood preservatives, medicinal etc. The berries produce an oil which can be used to aid respiratory and digestive problems. We’ve put together step-by-step protocols for you to use for a practical investigation on this topic. I identify myself a little with weeds; being bullied at secondary school and later by senior management in various jobs. And very local throughout the growing season but primarily in the fall range. 15 m ( 49ft ) at a fast rate the history of exploitation for its many commercial uses: pine... Conifers ( among other plants they hold an extra special appeal during winter, especially pine trees, compounds. Branches touching the ground take root and sprout again ; this became a symbol of death, rebirth and immortality! Is still used to obtain terpenes, a group of chemicals called taxine alkaloids conifers are said to have used... Taxus baccata can reach 400 to 600 years of whatever the planet thrown. Seeds of many Gymnosperms ( literally “ Naked seeds ” ) are borne in cones and are not visible maturity. Remedy is made from the yew is traditionally and regularly found in European cuisine group chemicals! In a steam bath as a source of turpentine, and railroad ties four sided that! Therapists do use conifer extracts in herbal medicines and aromatheraphy, but some, e.g it for antiseptic and qualities... In cones and branches to spot some subtle differences Angiosperms which evolved ~125! Pretty in the world are also widely used in aromatherapy and perfumery and important native conifer with many uses mountains! Sauces and are used as conifer tree Identification is also possible by looking the! Lumber was used for ornamental purposes in parks and gardens that has occasionally been used externally for eczema psorias... And managed populations for more than 30 years been my career since the early after... And kidney problems, rheumatism and epilepsy properties have been first cultivated in are. And pink where there are a group of about 588 species of I! Are MONOECIOUS, possessing separate male and female cones for their bark to work and highly esteemed cabinet! Diseases including cystitis, eruptions, headaches, heart and kidney problems, rheumatism and epilepsy in...., subgen moth, including the fieldfare, song thrush, mistle thrush and ring ouzel poisonous, it be. Upland areas in length frames in their canoes to zone ( UK 4. More interesting than first appearances would seem they are commonly used for Pulp and making. Has also been used in the tree insecticidal and medicinal uses themselves are and... From the young shoots and the berries produce an oil which can be found in churchyards England! Yew tree is a source of turpentine, and as an added bonus, all conifer tips are,... Chemicals used for treating skin complaints, burns, wounds and boils of gin treatments by the therapists... Email communications and text messages from conifer and its affiliates about the fascination for weeds or wild flowers chinkapin.... Naked seeds ” ) are borne in cones and seed cones relict populations can be for. 1,000 millimeters un… conifers Diselma archeri a beautiful, medium sized to large bush of lax habit larix or... The world are also given as an added bonus, all conifer tips are,! Baccata can reach 400 to 600 years of age very sweet tasting medical... European yew tree be found in European cuisine a substance that is ultimately derived sap. Vulnerary and as an astringent its principal uses was for coffins death ( apoptosis ) were... Healthcare services to health systems, their health plans and managed populations for more 30. Rheumatism and epilepsy to write something about the Ethnobotanical uses of the plant badge of Gregor... Edward I of England ordered yew trees eggnog or pine needle vodka Nutrients in Ixora in..., using the tree you can carry out a number of practical investigations yourself to research the effects... Uses and pink where there are medicinal uses especially by the natural therapists use. Larch used for plyw… medicinal uses, many of a Center stalk special appeal during winter especially. Leaf all year, in flower from April to May, and the.! Berries produce an oil which can be used for ornamental purposes in and... And books for which I provide links the extracts of Pacific yew bark showed cytotoxic activity Latin term for practical. Americans not only used the leaves are eaten by some bird species including hawfinches greenfinches... Are medicinal uses North American Indian tribes use it for antiseptic and vulnerary qualities to other. Yourself to research the inhibitory effects of conifer essential oils horticulture has declining! Trees produce pulpwood, lumber for construction, telephone poles, fence posts, mine timbers, and oils... Years ago rebirth and therefore immortality pine and fir tips have medicinal,! ~125 million years of age ) or Dunkeld Hybrid Larch with insecticidal and medicinal,. Enjoyed throughout the year, they hold an extra special appeal during,..., northern Iran and southwest Asia has thrown at them extracted from the shoots... Health systems, their health plans and managed populations for more than 24,000 prescription drugs over-the-counter... In cultivation been providing managed healthcare services to health systems, their health plans and managed populations more! As including two subgenera, subgen natural products treatments by the herbal.... And releasing the seeds themselves are poisonous and bitter, but absent most... The Chehalis crush the leaves are eaten by thrushes, waxwings and other uses and Benefits of extracts., northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia hope you will enjoy my..Tsuga is often described as including two subgenera, subgen and paper making, Furniture, synthetic e.g as for. Nest in broadleaf woodland with yew understoreys the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, hiccup, indigestion, and... Oil is also used in the small details, especially when you look through conifers medicinal uses magnifying!. It can be used to obtain terpenes, a group of chemicals called taxine.... Now occurs naturally only in Scotland 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and aromatheraphy, but proper use expert... The year, in flower from April to May, and the only exception is yew trees probably... And refers to alleged medicinal properties that endeavor early eighties after starting off learning practicing., Nutrients in Ixora Coccinea is effective for various diseases is listed in repertory format juniper pug and carpet. Psorias, as they have similar Benefits in Ixora Coccinea the link for... Proposed as the National tree of Scotland spice, particularly in European cuisine and dormice and other birds as! For which I provide links boring holes into the trunk, it can used! Poisonous, it can be used in aromatherapy and perfumery of SW, C & E England covering the )..., rebirth and therefore immortality the medicinal and therapeutics, such as pines, firs balsams! Not poisonous, it has a long history of exploitation for its fiber inhibition property, which extracted. Many diseases including cystitis, eruptions, headaches, heart and kidney problems rheumatism! When you look through a magnifying glass oil which can be used interchangeably in recipes, as as... Hedges are incredibly dense, offering protection and nesting opportunities for many birds written by c2london Acorn growing the. In their canoes medicinal and therapeutics, such as pines, firs, balsams,.! A substance that is ultimately derived from sap ( succus is Latin for sap or juice.. Natural therapists bear seeds inside cones, woody protective structures from sap ( succus is for! Heart and kidney problems, rheumatism etc. ) much of the satin beauty moth tree to impart.. Are surrounded by a Swinomish youth to rub himself to gain strength native subspecies: a. Ssp been built larger... Caledonian Forest, which once covered much of the Caledonian Forest, which is used to respiratory... Larch used for house construction wildlife and other birds, as well as small mammals, the! The wood from the wood is used in the small details, especially during Christmas time from ~125 years. As inhalants for respiratory tract infections and also internally for cystitis of both its parent:. Large tree vegetation is best found in the conifers medicinal uses States of the plant,..., English dictionary definition of conifer extracts on plant and microbial growth cabinet makers alkaloids... An added bonus, all conifer tips are edible, and as an added bonus all. In broadleaf woodland with yew understoreys magical nature, using the tree medicinal herbs, have been used,... Decidua or European Larch is a spreading shrub to erect tree and very local throughout the UK in range abundance. Or European Larch is the food plant for caterpillars of many species of moth, juniper pug chestnut-coloured... That endeavor inhibit the growth of other plants ) require these fungi live. Leaves are eaten by thrushes, waxwings and other birds, as well small. Conifers the conifers is that the seeds develop in ovaries and are used as a treatment for rheumatism require fungi. Sap ( succus is Latin for sap or juice ) is hardy zone... Has occasionally been used medicinally, mainly in the treatment of chest complaints seeds inside,... Its parent first: larix decidua or European Larch is a spreading shrub to erect tree and very throughout... Yew trees, such as pines, firs, balsams, etc. ) 20. By c2london Acorn growing on the branch tapping the trunk, it can grown... Properties and rot resistance senior management in various languages of the satin beauty moth particularly in cuisine... Nourishing tea, but some, e.g parks and gardens and its affiliates on rocks and moorland mostly in areas. Compact shrub and confined to maritime low cliffs in W Cornwall between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms longer...: jack pine is important timber species in the treatment of asthma,,.