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The Useful Plants Section




Emplacement and area

The utilitarian plants section presents approximately 1,1 ha area and is situated on the central plateau of "A. Fatu" Botanic Garden, near the Systematic Section in the north – eastern side, the Biologic Section in the western side, the Dendrologic Section in the southern side and the The Rosary in the south – eastern side.

Description

The useful plants section is divided in nine subsections. The visitor can know and recognize some valuable plants species used or probably to be used in health protection, alimentary, cellulose and paper industry or textile industry. These nine subsections are:
  1. Medicinal plants sub-section: groups together species presenting diverse therapeutic actions on the human body:
    • antiasthmatic: Ephedra distachya (sea grape), Plantago lanceolata (narrow plantain), Primula veris (primrose) etc.;
    • antidiarrheic: Achillea millefolium (milfoil), Agrimonia eupatoria (agrimony), Cydonia oblonga (quince tree) etc.;
    • antihelminthic: Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven), Artemisia absinthium (wormwood), Ruta graveolens (rue) etc.;
    • antirheumatic: Betula pendula (birch tree), Juniperus communis (juniper), Tamarix ramosissima (tamarisk) etc.;
    • cardiotonic: Adonis vernalis (pheasant's eye), Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort) etc.;
    • carminative: Foeniculum vulgare (fennel), Matricaria chamomilla (german camomile), Robinia pseudacacia (acacia) etc.;
    • cholagogue: Artemisia absinthium (wormwood), Berberis vulgaris (barberry), Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) etc.;
    • diuretic: Prunus avium (sweet cherry), Pinus sylvestris (pine), Saponaria officinalis (soapwort) etc.;
    • antidiabetical: Levisticum officinale (lovage), Morus alba (mulberry), Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) etc.;
    • laxative: Euonymus europaea (spindle tree), Fraxinus ornus (manna ash), Rubia tinctorum (madder) etc.;
    • sedative: Asparagus officinalis (asparagus), Crataegus oxyacantha (midland hawthorn), Humulus lupulus (hop) etc.;
    • stomachic: Tanacetum vulgare (tansy), Lamium album (white dead nettle), Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) etc.;
    • species used in liver diseases treatment: Mentha piperita (white peppermint), Hepatica nobilis (hepatica), Cichorium intybus (chicory) etc.;
    • antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antibiotic, insecticide: Tanacetum vulgare (tansy), Ocimum basilicum (sweet basil), Melilotus officinalis (melilot) etc.;
    • purgative: Rubia tinctorum (madder), Sorbus aucuparia (mountain ash) etc.;
    • emollient: Foeniculum vulgare (fennel), Plantago major (common plantain), Zizyphus jujuba etc.;
    • antiscorbutus: Armoracia rusticana (horseradish).
    A important sub-section including other medicinal plants is situated in the northern part on this sector and groups together species having immuno-stimulatory properties and representing the basis for the obtainment of some modern phyto-preparations: Aristolochia clematitis (birthwort), Eupatorium cannabinum (hemp agrimony), Echinacea purpurea (echinacea), Carthamus tinctorius, Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) etc. Also, in this section are cultivated valuable collections of Echinacea. This species is met in the spontaneous flora of North America and in our country (as other European countries) is only cultivated. The Echinacea genus (Asteraceae family) includes 9 species among that three are the most known for their uses: Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench, Echinacea pallida (Nutt.) Nutt. and Echinacea angustifolia DC.
  2. Toxic plants sub-section: includes species dangerous for the human organism and animals but very precious for the pharmaceutical industry (due to the active principles):
    • Taxus baccata (yew);
    • Conium maculatum (helmlock);
    • Ricinus communis (castor-oil plant);
    • Laburnum anagyroides (laburnum);
    • Chelidonium majus (greater celandine) etc.
  3. Aromatic species sub-section: represented by species containing volatile substances and essentials oils, raw valuable materials used in cosmetics, perfumes, alcoholic drinks and alimentation industries:
    • Nepeta cataria (catmint);
    • Lavandula angustifolia (lavender);
    • Narcissus poeticus (poet’s narcissus);
    • Convallaria majalis (lily of the valleys);
    • Syringa vulgaris (lilac);
    • Thymus vulgaris (common thyme);
    • Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff).
  4. Pabular and melliferous plants sub-section: includes species presenting a high content of pollen, nectar and other vegetable secretions used by apiarists in honey bees culture to turn in account the honey, bees wax and other secondary products:
    • Amorpha fructicosa (false indigo);
    • Helianthus annuus (sun flower);
    • Trifolium pratense (red clover);
    • Phacelia tanacetifolia (fiddleneck);
    • Tilia tomentosa (silver lime).
  5. Tanning and tinctorial plants sub-section: includes species containing tannins in different vegetative organs and usually used in leather goods industry:
    • Quercus robur (pedunculate oak);
    • Larix decidua (larch);
    • Abies alba (silver fir).
    This subsection contains also species that have been used in the past to colour diverse materials and in the handicraft industry:
    • Juglans regia (walnut);
    • Phytolacca americana (pokeweed);
    • Genista tinctoria (dyer’s greenweed);
    • Paeonia officinalis (peony).
  6. Textile and cellulosic plants sub-section: represented by some species cultivated for the textile fibres extracted from it:
    • Agave americana (agave);
    • Morus alba (white mulberry);
    • Urtica dioica (stinging nettle);
    • Viburnum lantana (wayfaring tree).
    There are also cultivated species used in cellulose extraction used to fabricate the paper:
    • Broussonetia papyrifera (paper mulberry);
    • Phragmites australis (common reed);
    • Abies alba (silver fir);
    • Picea abies (Norway spruce).
  7. Plants containing caoutchouc and resins: represented by species recognized for their content in terpenic and resiniferous substances used in rubber and plastics industries:
    • Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed);
    • Asphodeline lutea Rchb. (king’s spear);
    • Betula pendula Roth. (silver birch);
    • Euonymus europaea;
    • Euonymus verrucosa Scop.
  8. Alimentary and oleaginous plants sub-section: includes species cultivated for the content in alimentary principles (proteins, glucids, lipids, vitamins etc.):
    • Castanea sativa (sweet chestnut);
    • Prunus cerasus (sour cherry);
    • Ribes nigrum (blackcurrant);
    • Viburnum opulus (guelder rose);
    • Rumex patientia (patience dock).
  9. Plants used for soils fastening: groups some species cultivated on abrupt grounds, on terrains affected by landfalls, on sandy areas etc. to limit and ameliorate the mentioned phenomena:
    • Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven);
    • Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive);
    • Juglans nigra (black walnut);
    • Lycium barbarum (box thorn);
    • Prunus spinosa (blackthorn);
    • Acer paltanoides (Norway maple);
    • Ononis spinosa (spiny restharrow);
    • Gleditsia triacanthos (honeylocust).

Theme

By its characteristics, the useful plants section aims to present to the visitors the main groups of utilities of plants species, also, the most spread and known by the Romanian people and the most used species in pharmaceutical field, alimentary and other industries (textile, cellulose and paper etc.).

University "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" of Iasi

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