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Trees & Shrubs

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Trees & Shrubs

One of the key concepts of permaculture forest gardening is that we try to use all of the different layers available...

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  • Annatto
    Annatto is an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana). It is often used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods, but sometimes also for its flavor and aroma. Its scent is described as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg" and flavor as "slightly nutty, sweet and peppery".The color of annatto comes from various carotenoid pigments, mainly bixin and norbixin, found in the reddish waxy coating of the seeds. The condiment is typically prepared by grinding the seeds to a powder or paste. Similar effects can be obtained by extracting some of the color and flavor principles from the seeds with hot water, oil, or lard, which are then added to the food.Annatto and its extracts are now widely used in an artisanal or industrial scale as a coloring agent in many processed food products, such as cheeses, dairy spreads, butter and margarine, custards, cakes and other baked goods, potatoes, snack foods, breakfast cereals, smoked fish, sausages, and more. In these uses, annatto is a natural alternative to synthetic food coloring compounds, but it has been linked to cases of food-related allergies. Annatto is of particular commercial value in the United States because the Food and Drug Administration considers colorants derived from it to be "exempt of certification".
  • Paulownia
    The genus, originally Pavlovnia but now usually spelled Paulownia, was named in honour of Anna Paulowna queen consort of The Netherlands (1795–1865), daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia. It is also called "princess tree" or the "emperor tree" for the same reason.[1]Evidence in peer-reviewed scientific literature support that Paulownia is native to North America. In a February 1961 article in the American Journal of Botany, Charles J. Smiley reported finding fossils of Paulownia Tomentosa leaves in Tertiary strata of Ellensburg Canyon of Washington state. Dr. Smiley described the structure of the leaves and, ruling out all similarly structured leaves, identified them positively as Paulownia. He examined fossils of many more trees in the Ellensburg formation and identified them as trees that normally co-habitate with Paulownia. He described the climate of what is now the northwestern United States during the Tertiary Period as being essentially ideal for the growth of Paulownia and he attributed reduction of North American Paulownia to glaciation in later ice ages.Paulownia is known to be an early colonizer of sterile soils (such as after a high temperature wildfire), because its seeds are easily killed off by soil fungi. In fact, it is so difficult to start Paulownia by seed that successful plantations purchase rootstock or seedlings - or propagate their own. Remarkably, despite the fact that seeds, seedlings, and roots of even mature trees are so susceptible to rot, the wood itself is not and is widely adored for boat building and surfboards. In korea it is also used as pillows and other health beneficial traits
  • Pomegranate
    The pomegranate (/ˈpɒmɨɡrænɨt/), botanical name Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between 5 and 8 m (16–26 ft) tall.In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February,] and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. As intact arils or juice, pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, meal garnishes, juice blends, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, such as cocktails and wine.The pomegranate originated in the region of modern day Iran, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India. It was introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769.Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north Africa and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, and the drier parts of southeast Asia. It is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona.] In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere
  • Silver Wattle
    Acacia Dealbata (Silver Wattle) is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in warm temperate regions of the world, and is naturalised in some areas, including Sochi (Black Sea coast of Russia), southwestern Western Australia, southeastern South Australia, Norfolk Island, the Mediterranean region from Portugal to Greece and Morocco to Israel, Yalta (Crimea, Russia), California, Madagascar, southern Africa (South Africa, Zimbabwe), the highlands of southern India,south-western China and Chile It does not survive prolonged frost. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.The timber is useful for furniture and indoor work, but has limited uses, mainly in craft furniture and turning. It has a honey colour, often with distinctive figures like birdseye and tiger stripes. It has a medium weight (540–720 kg/m³), and is similar to its close relative blackwood, but of lighter tone without the dark heartwood.[citation needed]The flowers and tip shoots are harvested for use as cut flowers, when it is known by florist trade as "mimosa". In Italy, Albania, Russia and Georgia the flowers are also frequently given to women on International Women's Day. The essence of the flowers, called 'cassie' or 'opopanax', is used in perfumes. The leaves are sometimes used in Indian chutney.In South Africa, the species is a Category 1 weed in the Western Cape (requiring eradication) and Category 2 weed (requiring control outside plantation areas) elsewhere.] In New Zealand the Department of Conservation class it as an environmental weed. It has been analyzed as containing less than 0.02% alkaloids.It is known to contain enanthic (heptanoic) acid, palmic aldehyde, anisic acid, acetic acid, and phenols.
  • Tagasaste
    Cytisus proliferus, tagasaste or tree lucerne, is a small spreading evergreen tree that grows 3-4m high. It is a well known fertilizer tree. It is a member of the Fabaceae (pea) family and is indigenous to the dry volcanic slopes of the Canary Islands, but it is now grown in Australia, New Zealand and many other parts of the world as fodder crop.Tagasaste is an evergreen shrub that has rough yellow-grey bark and velvety hairy young growth. Its leaves are composed of 3 greyish-green equal-sized leaflets, which are slightly paler on the underside. Its scented, creamy-white flowers form in small clusters in the leaf axils. Its flat pea-like pods are green, ripening to black. The seeds are tiny (45,000/kg),shiny and black. Tagasaste is considered to be a promiscuous legume, compatible with cowpea and Tagasaste 1502 Rhizobium. It will nodulate with a wide range of rhizobia.[citation needed]Tagasaste is suited to sandy, well-drained soils of pH range 4–7. On deep, freely drained soils its roots can extend down to at least 10 metres. Any physical or chemical barrier in the soil that restricts root growth will reduce the productivity and survival of tagasaste. Cultivars from arid sandy areas are very susceptible to root rot fungus on poorly drained soils, specifically Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizotona. It will tolerate winter temperatures as low as −9 °C, but cultivars exist that can handle winter temperatures down to minus 15°C as in Orange, Eastern Australia.Tagasaste leaves will be burnt by frost and seedlings can be killed at temperatures below 0 °C. Growth of mature trees will slow at winter temperatures below 20 °C. Tagasaste can tolerate temperatures up to 50 °C, but above 36 °C leaves close up from stress. Tagasaste flowers during the early rainy season, typically June to October in Australia, New Zealand and East Africa.
  • Tallow Tree
    Triadica sebifera, also known as Sapium sebiferum, is commonly known as the Chinese tallow tree, Florida aspen, chicken tree, gray popcorn tree, and candleberry tree. The tree is native to eastern Asia, and is most commonly associated with eastern China, Taiwan, and Japan. In these regions, the waxy coating of the seeds is used for candle and soap making, and the leaves are used as herbal medicine to treat boils. The plant sap and leaves are reputed to be toxic, and decaying leaves from the plant are toxic to other species of plant. The specific epithets sebifera and sebiferum mean "wax-bearing" and refer to the vegetable tallow that coats the seedsThe simple, deciduous leaves of this tree are alternate, broad rhombic to ovate in shape and have smooth edges, heart shaped and sometimes with an extended tail often resembling the bo tree, Ficus religiosa. The leaves are bright green in color and slightly paler underneath. They become bright yellows, oranges, purples and reds in the autumn. The tree is monoecious, producing male and female flowers on the same plant.The waxy green leaves set off the clusters of greenish-yellow and white flowers at bloom time. The flowers occur in terminal spike-like inflorescences up to 20 cm long. Light green in color, these flowers are very conspicuous in the spring. Each pistillate (female) flower is solitary and has a three-lobed ovary, three styles, and no petals. They are located on short branches at the base of the spike. The staminate (male) flowers occur in clusters at the upper nodes of the inflorescence.Fruits are three-lobed, three-valved capsules. As the capsules mature, their color changes from green to a brown-black. The capsule walls fall away and release three globose seeds with a white, tallow-containing covering. Seeds usually hang on the plants for several weeks. In North America, the flowers typically mature from April to June and the fruit ripens from September to October.
  • Tamarillo
    Tamarillo, is a small tree or shrub in the flowering plant family Solanaceae (the nightshade family). It is best known as the species that bears the tamarillo, an egg-shaped edible fruit. It is also known as the tree tomato,tamamoro, and tomate de árbol in South America.The tamarillo is native to the Andes of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. Today, it is still cultivated in gardens and small orchards for local production,[4] and it is one of the most popular fruits in these regions.[5] Other regions of cultivation are the subtropical areas throughout the world, such as Rwanda, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, China, United States, Australia, and New Zealand.[4]The first internationally marketed crop of tamarillos in Australia was produced around 1996, although permaculture and exotic fruit enthusiasts had increasingly grown the fruit around the country from the mid-1970s on.In New Zealand, about 2,000 tons are produced on 200 hectares of land and exported to the United States, Japan and Europe. For the export, the existing marketing channels developed for the kiwifruit are used.The tamarillo is also successfully grown at higher elevations of Malaysia and the Philippines, and in Puerto Rico. In the hot tropical lowlands, it develops only small fruits and fruit setting is seldom.Prior to 1967, the tamarillo was known as the "tree tomato" in New Zealand, but a new name was chosen by the New Zealand Tree Tomato Promotions Council in order to distinguish it from the ordinary garden tomato and increase its exotic appeal.The choice is variously explained by similarity to the word "tomato", the Spanish word "amarillo", meaning yellow, and a variation on the Maori word "tama", for "leadership".The plant is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters. Peak production is reached after 4 years, and the life expectancy is about 12 years. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. The flowers and fruits hang from the lateral branches. The leaves are large, simple and perennial, and have a strong pungent smell. The flowers are pink-white, and form clusters of 10 to 50 flowers. They produce 1 to 6 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects. Cross-pollination seems to improve fruit set. The roots are shallow and not very pronounced, therefore the plant is not tolerant to drought stress, and can be damaged by strong winds. Tamarillos will hybridize with many other solanaceae, though the hybrid fruits will be sterile, and unpalatable in some instances.The fruits are egg shaped and about 4-10 centimeters long. Their color varies from yellow and orange to red and almost purple. Sometimes they have dark, longitudinal stripes. Red fruits are more acetous, yellow and orange fruits are sweeter. The flesh has a firm texture and contains more and larger seeds than a common tomato. The fruits are very high in vitamins and iron and low in calories (only about 40 calories per fruit).
  • Tonka
    Dipteryx odorata (commonly known as "cumaru" or "kumaru") is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. That tree is native to Central America and northern South America. Its seeds are known as tonka beans (sometimes tonkin beans or tonquin beans). They are black and wrinkled and have a smooth, brown interior. They have a strong fragrance similar to sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) due to their high content of coumarin.The word "tonka" is taken from the Galibi (Carib) tongue spoken by natives of French Guiana; it also appears in Tupi, another language of the same region, as the name of the tree. The old genus name, Coumarouna, was formed from another Tupi name for tree, kumarúThe tree itself grows up to 25–30 meters, with a trunk of up to one meter in diameter. The tree bark is smooth and gray, whereas the wood is red. The tree has alternate pinnate leaves with three to six leaflets, leathery, glossy and dark green, and pink flowers. Each developed fruit contains one seed. D. odorata is pollinated by insects. The worst pests are the bats because they eat the pulpy flesh of the fruit. A few known fungi may cause problems: Anthostomella abdita, Diatrype ruficarnis, Macrophoma calvuligera and Myiocopron cubense.The tonka seed contains coumarin, a chemical isolate from this plant, which also gave the name to it. The seeds contain about 1 to 3% of coumarin, rarely it can achieve 10%. Coumarin is responsible for the pleasant odor of the seeds and is used in the perfume industry. Coumarin is bitter to the taste, however, and, in large infused doses, it may cause hemorrhage and liver damage, as well as it can paralyze the heart. It is therefore controlled as a food additive by many governments. Like a number of other plants, the tonka bean plant probably produces coumarin as a defense chemical. Radio-carbon dating of D. odorata stumps left by a large logging operation near Manaus by Niro Higuchi, Jeffrey Chambers, and Joshua Schimel, showed that it was one of around 100 species which definitely live to over 1,000 years. Until their research, it had been assumed unlikely that any Amazonian tree could live to old age due to the conditions of the rain forest.Tonka beans had been used as a vanilla substitute, as a perfume, and in tobacco before being banned in some countries. They are used in some French cuisine (particularly, in desserts and stews) and in perfumes.Its use in food industry is regulated/restricted in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration.Many anticoagulant prescription drugs, such as warfarin, are based on 4-hydroxycoumarin, a chemical derivative of coumarin initially isolated from this bean. Coumarin, however, does not have anticoagulant properties.
  • Waratah
    Waratah (Telopea) is an endemic, Australian genus of five species of large shrubs or small trees, native to the southeastern parts of Australia (New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania). The most well-known species in this genus is Telopea speciosissima, which has bright red flowers and is the NSW state emblem. The waratah is a member of the plant family Proteaceae, a family of flowering plants distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The key diagnostic feature of Proteaceae is the inflorescence, which is often very large, brightly coloured and showy, consisting of many small flowers densely packed into a compact head or spike. Species of waratah boast such inflorescences ranging from 6–15 cm in diameter with a basal ring of coloured bracts. The leaves are spirally arranged, 10–20 cm long and 2–3 cm broad with entire or serrated margins. The name waratah comes from the Eora Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.The genus Telopea is belongs to the plant family Proteaceae. Within the Proteaceae, their closest relatives appear to be the genera Alloxylon (Tree Waratahs), Oreocallis and Embothrium, a group of generally terminal red-flowering plants that skirt the southern edges of the Pacific Rim. Together they make up the subtribe Embothriinae. The genus was first described by Robert Brown in 1810 from the type species Telopea speciosissima. There are five species of plant within the genus, all of which readily hybridize in cultivation.[There are two main branches, with one being the species pair of T. speciosissima and T. aspera, with the other lineage giving rise to T. truncata first, then T. oreades and T. mongaensis.[The speciosissima-aspera lineage (clade) has two synapomorphies—distinguishing common characteristics presumed not present in ancestors—leaves with toothed margins, and large red involucral bracts. The truncata-oreades-mongaensis lineage has flowers that open from the centre to the edge of the inflorescence (basitonic) rather than the reverse (acrotonic), which is a feature of the speciosissima-aspera clade and more distant relatives.For some time the waratah has had a reputation as difficult plant. It has a complex culture and for many years there have been cases of people trying to establish the plant only to have the attempt fail. Failures can usually be attributed to the effects of unsuitable soil conditions, aspect or climate. The waratah is also a slow plant to mature with a flowering period that is short, unpredictable and unreliable. Early issues with cultivation meant that approximately 90% of all waratahs sold at Sydney’s Flemington markets in the early 90s were bush picked. Some progress has been made in the 20 years since then with several cultivars being commercially grown mostly in areas to the North and South of Sydney and in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria. Issues with cultivation are still present however