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Video: Aralia Of Manchu - Garden Decoration And Excellent Healer
Aralia - an ornamental "palm" and a valuable medicinal plant
It is hardly possible to grow a palm tree or a banana as a focal plant in the Middle Lane and in the North-West, as it is sometimes recommended in translated literature on landscape design.
But is it possible to pick up something similar, palm-shaped, to replace these southerners in decorative plantings?
Yes, there is such a plant! This is the Manchurian Aralia (Aralia mandshurica Rupr. Et Max.), A fast-growing, but low tree. It is also called a thorn tree, or a devil tree. Her homeland is the Far East, where she grows in the southeast of the Amur Region, in the southern part of Khabarovsk, and throughout the Primorsky Territory.
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In nature, it grows almost without branches, "palm", 5-6 meters high, but in culture, in the European part of the country - it is much lower, no higher than 2-4 meters. Trees, as a rule, are not branched, but if the apical bud is damaged, branching specimens are sometimes found. The trunk is covered with wrinkled bark with numerous large woody thorns, which are especially developed in young trees.
Also, aralia is distinguished by huge, up to 1 m long, alternate twice - less often thrice-pinnate-compound leaves crowded on the tops of the shoots (like palm trees). Leaflets with pointed apex, rounded base and serrated edges. In spring they are light green (gray below), in summer they are green, and in autumn they become pink-purple, sometimes reddish, yellowish or reddish. The leaf stalks are also studded with thorns.
Large complex paniculate inflorescences up to 45 cm long, consisting of several complex umbrellas, are also spectacular. In turn, they are formed from a mass of small greenish-creamy fragrant flowers (up to 70 thousand), which bloom in August, they are melliferous.
There are up to 6–8 inflorescences in the crown, in the center of the leaf whorl. Under natural conditions, aralia usually blooms in the fifth year. Ornamental and panicles of blue-black five-nested berry-like fruits with a diameter of 3-5 mm and a weight of 0.05 g, ripening in September. They are inedible, but adorn the plant until late autumn.
Aralia seeds are 2.5 mm long and 1-2 mm wide, 1000 pieces weigh 0.9 g, most of them do not ripen. The root system is superficial, horizontal and radial; the main part of the roots is located at a depth of 10–25 cm; at a distance of 2-3 m from the trunk, they bend downward and go to a depth of 50-60 cm, are very fragile.
In nature, Aralia grows in the undergrowth of a sparse mixed forest, in clearings, forest edges, inhabits burnt-out areas and felling areas, occurs singly or in small groups, and is light-requiring. Average winter hardiness, often freezes to the level of snow cover, but quickly recovers. In the southern half of the Leningrad Region, the Aralia is quite viable, but at temperatures below -30 ° C it freezes strongly. Undemanding to soil and moisture. Young plants tolerate transplanting well. Aralia grows quickly, but life expectancy is not great - about 25 years.
Aralia propagates by seeds, root cuttings, numerous root suckers and shoots. The main breeding method is seed. Fresh seeds have a pretty good germination, but they quickly lose it, they are not stored for more than 1.5 years. Therefore, freshly harvested seeds are best sown in the fall, in August - September, the sowing depth is 1.5-2 cm, the seeding rate is 1 g per 1 m², the distance between the holes is 50-60 cm. Before that, 3 kg are added to each of them. humus and 20-30 g of nitroammofoska. The sown seeds are sprinkled with humus. Seedlings will appear in the spring.
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To increase germination and germination energy, it is useful to keep them in a solution of gibberellic acid (0.5 g per 1 l of water) for 24 hours. Before spring sowing, seeds must be stratified for 3-4 months at a temperature of 14… + 20 ° C and 4 months at a temperature of 2… + 5 ° C, but even after such stratification, seedlings will appear only after 7-8 months.
Therefore, to accelerate germination, it is advisable to first treat the seeds for 48 hours with gibberellic acid at a concentration of 0.005%, then rinse and stratify for 1-3 months at a temperature of 0 … + 5 ° C (in the refrigerator), and then another 2 months at a temperature of 18 … + 20 ° C. They are sown in April.
Aralia seedlings are very delicate, and in the first years they need protection and careful care. Root cuttings are best planted in early spring, before the buds grow back. The depth of their planting is 5-6 cm. Care in the first year consists of 3-4 loosening and weeding, as well as top dressing: in the first half of the season with nitroammophos, 20-30 g per plant.
Mature plants respond very well to feeding with slurry in early spring and during budding. The soil around the trees should be kept clean, loose, mulched and moist. For the winter, it is advisable to insulate the trunk circle with foliage and humus, spruce branches. Planted in places protected from the wind and covered with snow, aralia winters safely. Root suckers begin to bloom and bear fruit at the age of five. It is not easy to get her planting material, but with a strong desire it is still possible.
Aralia is a very valuable medicinal plant - an adaptogen, which is 100 times more effective than ginseng. The roots are of primary importance. They are harvested in autumn or early spring, cleaned from the ground, cut into pieces of 1-3 cm, dried at a temperature not higher than 60 ° C.
Their shelf life is three years. They contain biologically active substances - aralosides A, B and C, about 0.12% of essential oil, trace elements: barium, selenium, strontium, molybdenum. They are used to prepare a tincture on 70-degree alcohol (1: 5) and the preparation "saparal", used similarly to ginseng.
Aralia preparations have a tonic and stimulating effect on the cardiovascular and central nervous systems, help with hypotension, asthenia, depression, impotence. They improve general well-being, accelerate recovery from serious illnesses, increase muscle strength, reduce blood sugar in diabetes mellitus, and increase appetite. The tincture is taken 30-40 drops 2-3 times a day. Aralia preparations are contraindicated in hypertension and insomnia.
Thus, every gardener who has planted aralia on his site will receive not only a magnificent decorative, but also a valuable medicinal plant, which is much easier to grow than ginseng.