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Video: Botanical Characteristics Of Schisandra Chinensis
How to grow lemongrass near St. Petersburg
Chinese magnolia vine (Schizandra chinensis (Turzz.) Daill.) Is one of the most interesting plants - relics of the Far East (it is also called the lemon tree, Maksimovich's red vineyard, five-taste).
This liana is a representative of the subtropical flora that once existed in this region during the warm Tertiary period. With the change of a warm and humid climate to a more severe and dry one during the period of glacier advance, from a large set of plants of that distant time, lemongrass remained among the few.
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There are many legends about the miraculous properties of lemongrass berries. Its remarkable qualities have long been known to the locals. Far Eastern aborigines-golds who hunted for hunting, setting off on a long or exhausting journey, stocked up with fresh and dry lemongrass berries. A handful of blood-red fruits helped them maintain and restore physical strength, relieve fatigue, improve visual acuity, even at night, and drive the beast without eating all day long. Fishermen, going on a voyage, stocked up with the juice of the fruits of this vine, as it helped them get rid of seasickness.
The stimulating properties of liana berries were known to Chinese physicians many centuries ago and were highly prized. Lemongrass was described as a medicinal plant in the first Chinese book on pharmacopoeia, 250 BC. e. In ancient China, court healers used lemongrass as the main ingredient, preparing medicinal drugs to restore sexual potency. It was included in the list of items delivered in the form of tribute to the imperial palace.
Even in their old books, it is mentioned that the fruits have five tastes: sour, bitter, salty, acrid and sweet. This really corresponds to the truth: the shell of the berries has a sweet taste, the pulp is sour, the seeds are bitter and astringent, the dosage form or the whole berry is salted.
Under natural conditions, lemongrass grows on well-aerated fertile soils of mixed coniferous-deciduous and deciduous forests, along river valleys and stream banks, found in clearings, old burned-out areas, forest edges, glades, along roadsides in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories, on Sakhalin and southern Kuril islands. For support, he uses perennial plants close to him and maintains himself in an upright position.
In the past two decades, the fruiting lemongrass has almost disappeared from the forests due to the increased collection of its berries. Removing plants from supporting trees to obtain fruits leads to their death, since the vines can no longer rise. Forest fires also kill lianas, as their flaky and flaky bark is highly flammable. There is less and less wild lemongrass, but the demand for it is increasing, and therefore they begin to breed it in many regions of our country.
Schisandra chinensis belongs to the Schizandra family - Scizandraceae. The generic name from the Greek "shizo" - to split and "aner" - a man on bipartite anthers, the Latin name oschinensis - Chinese. It is a perennial woody deciduous liana, reaching 8-10 m in length and 2-3 cm in thickness at the base. The whole plant has a specific lemon scent.
The underground organ of lemongrass is the rhizome of stem origin. The rhizome contains a large number of dormant buds, which, when germinated, give abundant growth around the mother plant. Schizandra has a superficial root system, the depth of occurrence is 5-20 cm. Annual shoots are yellowish-brown in color, smooth, elastic, firm to break, later with wrinkled, flaky bark.
The kidneys are 3-6 mm in size, oblong-ovate, sharp. In the node there are three kidneys, of which the middle one starts to grow, and the rest, on the sides, are at rest. Leaves (5-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide) are first light green, then dark green, elongated, finely toothed, shiny, pointed at the top. Flowers (1.5-2 cm in diameter) are formed on shortened last year's shoots, they are collected in 2-5 pieces in each leaf axil, waxy, creamy white, fragrant. Flowers are always dioecious - male and female.
A drooping brush in the form of a spike is formed from one flower. In an adult lemongrass, flowers are arranged in tiers: in the lower part, mainly male, in the middle - male and female - from one mixed bud, in the upper part - female. During vegetative propagation, lemongrass has a biological feature of the presence of both types of flowers on the plant. The flowers open uncommonly, and often on one liana one can observe buds and already faded flowers. The opening of flowers is strongly influenced by weather conditions. On days with clear and sunny weather, they bloom more than with overcast and partly cloudy.
Schisandra flowers are pollinated by nonspecific insects - small bugs. The rainy and cold weather prevents insects from flying and pollination of flowers. With artificial pollination, up to 30-40 berries are tied. In more northern latitudes (for example, in the Leningrad region), despite the abundant annual flowering, plants give good yields in a year. Fruit - a composite leaflet of irregular shape, usually consisting of 10-30 (5-10 mm in diameter) covered with a dense light brown shell of one- or two-seeded berries, collected on one axis in a dense brush up to 16 cm long, in appearance resembling a red brush currants.
Ripe berries have a soft flesh, are very tightly attached to the receptacle and are separated from it with a rupture of the skin. The berries hang in bunches on the vine, not dropping, until the very frost. Seeds 2-3 mm in diameter are yellow-orange, with a smooth, shiny surface, covered with a dense shell, bitter-burning "coniferous" taste. As a result of aging, the surface of the seeds loses its shiny appearance and takes on a dull shade.
From a perennial bush with good plant care, berry picking reaches 3-4 kg; the maximum - up to 5-7 kg - is obtained from a plant in the 12-16 year of its life. As a rule, lemongrass is suitable for active fruiting by 6-7 years of age. When harvesting ripe berries, the brushes from the plant should be removed very carefully so as not to damage the vine. When collecting, storing and bulkheading the fruits of Schisandra chinensis, do not use easily oxidized (metal) dishes.
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The best place for planting it is an elevated, well-drained part of the site, protected from cold, especially drying winds. Schisandra is an excellent plant for vertical landscaping of garden buildings and buildings. It is located at the facade of buildings (preferably on the west or southwest side), along the garden paths. Sometimes vines are placed along the hedges installed along the periphery of the site. In summer, their foliage creates a pleasant shade and coolness around arches, trellises, pergolas, arbors and trellises. The pale green leaves of plants, collected in bunches on thin hanging vines, are easily translucent by the sun's rays, which gives them an openwork appearance.
Lemongrass prefers soils of light texture, well-drained, fertile. Liana does not tolerate close standing groundwater, stagnant water and waterlogging, responds well to an increase in air humidity. The time when it enters the flowering and fruiting stage also largely depends on the quality of soil preparation for lemongrass: the earlier, the better the soil is prepared. Lemongrass is very light-requiring. Mature plants feel better and bear fruit actively in open areas (but not in the sun). It is not bad when the very root system of plants is constantly in the shade.
Among the vines, lemongrass occupies the most northern position and belongs to the most frost-hardy and early ripening vines in the world. From the north, the temperature distribution of this plant is limited to the Leningrad region (60 ° north latitude). It begins to vegetate when the average daily temperature goes through 7 … 9 ° C. In Karelia (somewhat north of the Leningrad region), the climate of which is characterized by a short and cool summer, there is not enough warmth for the successful ripening of lemongrass fruits, although a vine under these conditions can form a completely normal stem.
Schisandra is winter-hardy, but late spring frosts (-3..- 4 ° C) can coincide with the beginning of flowering and damage buds and flowers, and shoots and leaves, as a rule, do not freeze under such frosts. Thus, even at the northern border of the distribution of Schisandra chinensis (Leningrad region), there is no need to cover adult plants for the winter. The drought resistance of Schisandra is low, therefore, during dry periods, it needs periodic watering.
Every year the vine removes a large amount of nutrients from the soil, so their supply in the soil should be constantly replenished. It is very useful to root top dressing with stove ash from hardwoods. During the active growth of plants, ash is scattered around the vines and embedded in the soil using watering. During the growing season, weeding, shallow loosening, watering, adding loose earth to the root collar, feeding with organic and mineral fertilizers (necessarily with the addition of trace elements) is carried out several times, especially during periods of fruit setting and intensive shoots. Liana propagates by seeds and vegetatively (rhizome shoots, layering, and less often cuttings). Freshly harvested seeds are used or those that have been stored for less than a year in a dry state, but for normal germination, they must be stratified.
Read the next part. Lemongrass Chinese - planting and use in medicine →
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