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Video: Siberian Hawthorn Or Blood Red
Cultivation and use of hawthorn in medicine and cooking
There are a lot of hawthorns, about 1250 species, of which about 30 grow in our country, and even 58 are introduced from abroad. Their name comes from the word boyar (in some regions of the country this plant is called hawthorn, young lady-tree, or boyarka), arose from the lush white-foam flowering and bright red fruits, as an analogy to the bright "boyar" clothes.
There are many among the hawthorns and very useful, promising and even introduced into the culture, such as green meat, monopod and others. However, among this huge number there is a species that stands out for its properties. And, perhaps, one of the most beautiful, and most importantly - the most widespread and winter-hardy of them. This is Siberian hawthorn or blood red (Crataegus sanguinea Pall.). Its distribution area is very large: the east of the European part of Russia (east of the Volga), Siberia, Central Asia. This is a tree up to 4 m tall or a shrub.
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In nature, it grows singly or in groups, along the edges, sparse deciduous and mixed forests, river banks, ravines, among bushes. The wood is very beautiful, pink in color, strong; on strength is not inferior to boxwood. Can be used for small crafts and tool handles. The mouthpieces with a beautiful color and original wood texture are especially valuable. The branches are densely covered with reddish, shiny, sharp and hard, almost straight spines up to four centimeters long; the longest that hawthorns have.
The leaves of the plant are alternate, ovate, with 3-7 shallow lobes and teeth, up to 10 cm long, dark green, reddish-orange in autumn. The flowers are large, white or slightly pinkish, with purple anthers of the stamens; very beautiful, but with an unpleasant smell. They are honey plants. Flowers are collected in dense pubescent corymbose inflorescences. Fruits up to 1 cm in diameter, reddish-orange or blood-red (hence one of the names of the plant), shiny, with 3-5 seeds (1000 pieces of these seeds weigh 17-26 g), with a mealy, slightly astringent, freshly sweetish pulp; ripen at the end of August and hang until frost. These fruits are eaten by birds, and thus hawthorn seeds are spread.
It is used for landscaping streets, gardens, parks; can be used as a tapeworm (singly), in biogroups, but it is especially good for creating completely impenetrable hedges, in which songbirds willingly settle and hide, inaccessible to cats, birds of prey and other enemies.
Siberian hawthorn is also used as a soil-protecting plant.
Siberian hawthorn is photophilous, but withstands some shading, drought-resistant. Despite its small size, it lives for a very long time, up to 200-300 years or more. Prefers fresh, fertile, alluvial soils with medium moisture.
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The hawthorn is propagated by seeds, shoots, occasionally by root suckers, garden forms - by grafting. It can be grafted onto mountain ash, quince, cotoneaster, henomeles (low Japanese quince). Itself can serve as a stock for dwarf apple trees, pears, chaenomeles, and other pome species. Seeds during spring sowing require long-term stratification and scarification (damage to the shell), otherwise they germinate very poorly, mostly in the second year. To increase germination, sowing is best done at the end of summer with unripe seeds. Then you will receive friendly shoots in the spring.
Beware of placing hawthorn near fruit trees, especially apple and pear, as they are all affected by the same pests and diseases. And he has many enemies - these are green apple aphids, hawthorn bud mites, red fruit mites, hawthorn leaf flies, maple mealybugs, hawthorn mining moth, winter moth, ringed silkworm, hawthorn, peppered moth, hawthorn, golden-tailed cherry and other sawflies, apple blossom beetle, hawthorn fruit leaf beetle, acacia and apple comma-shaped false scutes, wrinkled sapwood; and it is sometimes damaged by them quite strongly. Hawthorn also has a lot of diseases: powdery mildew, rust, phylosticosis, septoria, rabbit, central trunk rot and others. Measures to combat them with all are standard,accepted in fruit growing.
The use of hawthorn in medicine and veterinary medicine
People use the fruits of Siberian hawthorn for food and for medicinal purposes. The culture is very fruitful: 5-10, and sometimes 75 kg of fruits can be harvested from a bush. However, bountiful harvests do not happen every year.
Harvesting hawthorn fruit is not easy because of its thorns. As a fruit crop, Siberian hawthorn is a mediocre plant. But as a decorative and medicinal - it is good, and in culture for a long time, since 1822. There are several garden forms, incl. one with yellow fruits.
Hawthorn fruits contain starch, sugars, organic acids, pectin substances, carotene, vitamin C. They can be eaten fresh, but it is better to prepare jelly, jelly, fruit drinks from them. Dried fruits can be ground into flour, boiled with boiling water, and, adding sugar or honey, can be used as jam or pie filling; or add to wheat flour to give baked goods a special aroma and sweetish fruity taste. Hawthorn leaves and fruits are sometimes used as a substitute for tea, and the latter, roasted and ground, also as a substitute for coffee. The shelf life of dry fruits is 8 years. It should be remembered that eating a lot of fruits can cause mild poisoning.
As a medicinal plant, hawthorn was recognized by scientific medicine at the end of the 19th century. The raw materials are flowers and fruits of hawthorn, less often leaves. The former are harvested and dried at the beginning of flowering, and the latter - when they are fully ripe (without stalks). All of them contain organic acids (ursolic, oleanolic, chlorogenic, coffee), flavonoids, saponins, hyperoside, sorbitol, choline, tannins and fatty oils.
Hawthorn preparations have sedative, cardiotonic, hypotensive effects. Reduces blood cholesterol. They stimulate the heart muscle, improve coronary and cerebral circulation. Reduces arrhythmia and tachycardia. They are used for hypertension, angina pectoris, myocarditis, cardiovascular insufficiency, excitability of the central nervous system, in the climacteric period, reduce the permeability of the walls of blood vessels and capillaries (preparations from flowers in this case are stronger), to improve the general condition, have a weak diuretic effect. Contraindications - arterial hypotension. Hawthorn is also used in veterinary medicine.
In pharmacies, a liquid hawthorn tincture is sold. You can also make it yourself from fresh flowers (1:10) in 70-degree alcohol. Hawthorn extract is used to treat and prevent atherosclerosis. It is also included in cardiovalene, as well as other cardiac drugs.
The hawthorn is also promising for breeding work. Even I.V. Michurin once bred an interspecific hybrid of Siberian hawthorn and mountain ash - Crataegosorbus Miczurini A. Pojark. - known as the variety - Pomegranate mountain ash. By the way, this variety deserves wide distribution in the north, where there are almost no fruit and berry species. Its sweet and sour fruits (without bitterness) can be used processed and fresh. Amateur gardeners who want to try their hand at hybridization, using the experience of I.V. Michurin, could try to bring something of their own on the basis of Siberian hawthorn.
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