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Video: Echinacea And Rudbeckia Came To Our Gardens
Famous "American women" - echinacea and rudbeckia
Outwardly, these plants are echinacea and rudbeckia (Astrovye family), which are home to the prairies and forests of the southeastern states of the United States, as twins are very similar. The center of their inflorescences looks like a slightly elongated thorny bump.
And it is no coincidence that the first Europeans, having arrived in the New World, gave them one name - coneflower (translated as "cone flower"). Later, in the middle of the 18th century, botanists named both plants "rudbeckia" after the Swedish naturalist Rudbeck. And only four decades later, having finally figured it out, they isolated Echinacea in a separate genus Echinaceae (Greek Echinus - "hedgehog"), linking the name with the same cones with hard spiny bracts.
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Echinacea is still much more popular than its "sister" - rudbeckia. It is not for nothing that Echinacea is considered the “plant of the last decade” in the world. This rhizome perennial is a plant with an erect green, shortly pubescent stem up to 1.2-1.4 m high, with basal leaves and beautiful large flowers (up to 15 cm in diameter).
In floriculture, Echinacea purpurea is most common. It grows normally in the central regions of the European part of Russia, but on a shorter peduncle. There are varieties of echinacea with carmine red, pink and white flowers. So far, other types of echination are rarely found among domestic amateurs - holly (E. angustofolia) and pale (E. pallida). Until its new varieties gained wide popularity among gardeners.
The inflorescence of Echinacea is a basket (up to 10 cm in diameter) with a convex hollow receptacle: the median flowers are tubular, bisexual, bronze or brownish-red in color, the reed flowers are reddish-purple.
As an ornamental plant, echinacea is very good in flower beds and lawns. Its long flowering (1.5-2 months) is combined with a remarkable ability to persist for a long time after cutting. This perennial can also serve as a good honey plant (in the central regions of European Russia, 1 hectare of its plantings provides honey collection of 100-150 bee colonies for two months) and a good feed additive to the diet of cattle and pigs (increases their resistance to infectious diseases).
Echinacea is propagated by seeds and by dividing the bush. Seeds germinate easily (without stratification) and do not need special pre-planting treatment; they are sown before winter or early spring to a depth of 1-3 cm. When sowing seeds in open ground in April, take into account the fact that for the plant on the site it is necessary to choose a sunny place with fertile, moderately moist, well-treated soil. Mass flowering of echinacea occurs only in the second year, and subsequently the plant blooms profusely and annually (it develops poorly only in the shade and on sandy soils). When propagating through seedlings, plants are planted at the beginning of May, maintaining a distance between them of 40-50 cm. There is an opinion that propagation by seeds gives a large number of forms that do not correspond to the original sample in terms of decorative properties and, apparently,by the content and spectrum of physiologically active substances.
Echinacea can also be propagated vegetatively - by dividing the rhizomes into parts that have renewal buds. It is better to buy the plots in early spring (before the leaves open completely). The multiplication factor is small, but it is believed that in this case the varietal characteristics of the original plant are preserved. Echinacea can grow in one place for more than 10 years (it is advisable to thin out the bush every three years) and is characterized by high winter hardiness (hibernates without shelter).
Experts have proved that it is possible to significantly increase productivity - the yield of the biological mass of plants and active substances - by foliar feeding with a solution of urea (2%), MnSO4 (0.05%) or ZnSO4 (0.1%). They are considered optimal for processing in the rosette phase - with urea, in the budding phase - with manganese and zinc. This foliar application increases the dry matter yield. For example, treatment of plants with a solution of urea increases the total collection of biologically active substances by 3-3.5 times, with a solution of manganese and zinc - 4 and 2.9-3.3 times, respectively.
Echinacea medicinal properties
The popularity of echinacea is also due to its high medicinal properties. Due to the ability to strengthen the body's defenses, some experts now put it among the most amazing representatives of the plant world (even next to ginseng). And it is no coincidence that the North American Indians of the Great Plains have used echinacea for many centuries as the most important medicinal raw material for various diseases - from the common cold to a snakebite. By preparing various echinacea remedies, they have treated headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, smallpox, mumps, measles, cramps, stomach cramps, eye inflammation, wounds and abscesses.
In the 70s of the XIX century, white settlers got acquainted with the medicinal properties of the plant, actively using it to treat "minor colds". Once in Europe, echinacea found a worthy place in the pharmacopoeia of many countries: before the advent of antibiotics, it was considered almost the most effective remedy for combating viral and bacterial infections. But since the middle of the twentieth century, interest in the plant has fallen: antibiotics created by scientists coped well with pathogens of many diseases of humans and animals. Only a few decades later came some awakening from illusions: it turned out that viruses are able to defend themselves, change their structure, and the antibiotics themselves, as it turned out, unfortunately, often harm the natural defense systems of a person, reducing his immunity.
To date, biologically active substances (polysaccharides, polyacetylenes, unsaturated derivatives of amides, derivatives of caffeic acid, etc.), which constitute the medicinal power of the plant, have been isolated and studied in echinacea. They stimulate the immune system and increase resistance to infections, being present in various concentrations in all parts of the plant. On the basis of this plant, the pharmacopoeia of various countries has already developed more than 50 drugs. Echinacea is used for the prevention and treatment of cancer, prostatitis, adenoma, calming the nervous system; it is recommended to use it in areas of ecological disaster. Here are some recipes:
1. Infusion of roots (1:10) in 70% alcohol for 30-40 days. Drink 20-30 drops in half a glass of water 30 minutes before meals.
2. Broth. 1 tablespoon of crushed roots pour 300 ml of water, boil in a water bath for 30 minutes, filter. Take 1-2 tbsp. l. 3-4 times daily before meals. In addition, the broth can be used externally for the preparation of lotions for the affected skin areas with psoriasis, trophic ulcers, eczema, burns, bedsores, etc. Fresh juice and canned with ten percent alcohol have valuable qualities.
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Unlike echinacea, rudbeckia, as it turned out, is a rather familiar plant to Russian residents. I remember well how many golden balls, along with dahlias, were on the estates near Moscow in the 60s.
But this is nothing more than dissected rudbeckia (R. laciniata). They were planted under windows, along paths, near hedges, in flower beds. I remember the whole thickets of these tall (up to 2 m) magnificent swinging flowers (baskets with a diameter of 6-10 cm), double or semi-double, bright yellow or orange-golden color.
These perennials (up to 6-8 years old in one place) with straight, thin, branched stems at the top (the upper leaves are three-lobed, the lower ones are round, five-lobed) are undemanding to growing conditions. Therefore, caring for them is simple: they grow on any soil, not avoiding both sunny and shaded places. Their agricultural technology is the same as that of echinacea.
It should only be borne in mind that a significant part of the seedlings of both rudbeckia and echinacea can be affected by fusarium rot. Diseases are fought by treating seeds with TMTD (this activity also contributes to the intensive growth of the root and aerial parts of the plant; they winter better).
There was a serious interest in rudbeckia in pre-war Germany, where many of its varieties were created, and from where they then quickly spread throughout Europe.
In America, the fashion for her arose much later: only in 1999 in Canada she was awarded the first prize in the category "Perennial of the Year". Experts count about 40 species of rudbeckia, including one-two- and perennial species.
In recent years, they began to study the medicinal properties of rudbeckia. There are already encouraging results: a medical preparation has been obtained that can support the immunity of an AIDS patient. In Slovakia, doctors have found that R. speciosa is able to act more effectively than Echinacea purpurea. Ukrainian scientists pay great attention to the study of this plant: golden balls are widespread there, so this type of rudbeckia should not be introduced into the culture.
Those gardeners who want to grow these two plants will be convinced at the end of summer: few perennials can match the majesty and catchy large flowers with the popular "American". In September-October, when the streak of rains begins, the flower beds are sunny in summer from yellow-headed rudbeks. Against the background of the withering summer, these "sisters" look advantageous in compact groups on lawns, in mixed flower beds, along paths and fences.