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Valentine.gr  

December 2004

Did you know that the oak is called quercus or querimus because it was by means of this tree that heathen gods used to answer queries about the future?

Oak -  Quercus

Oak - Quercus

Oak (Quercus) is a large group of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs that are found wild throughout Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North and South America. Some require tropical or sub-tropical conditions to survive, while the majority are hardy in the North. The Oaks are varied in their appearance; it is hard to believe that some kinds can be classified with the same species. They do, however, have one characteristic in common, which is the fact that their seeds are carried in little caps called Acorns.

The common oak is a strong, enduring and steadfast tree. Indeed, it is one of our longest-living trees, spanning generations upon generations. For this reason, old oaks were veneraged and used by various religions for important meetings and ceremonies. They were planted to mark boundaries because of their longevity and strength to endure for hundreds of years. Since the Oak was a source of food for the people of Europe it was respected far back into history.

The Oak will take 70 - 80 years before it begins to produce acorns. By then the trunk will be about 20 inches in diameter, but this will still be a young tree in the life of an Oak. After it has reached 100 years, it will only increase its girth by about one inch (2.5cms) a year, but this extremely hard dense wood is highly prized as a building material and firewood. Until men devised iron cutting tools, the Oak resisted all attempts to fell it. After this, ironically, Oak became the main wood for making the charcoal needed for the furnaces which separated iron from its ore. It later became the main construction material for houses, churches and ships as it was strong and durable and its twisted branches provided the right shapes needed.

There are many famous old Oak trees. Ancient Oaks can be found on village greens or in fields and would previously have been used a boundary marker. Many old Oaks were called Gospel Oaks, relating to the time when the gospels were preached from beneath their mighty shade. Of course, this follows on from the custom and practice of the Druids who met in mighty Oak groves and beneath old Oak trees, for all their meetings and teachings were outside in the open and closely connected to the tree dryads.

One etymology of the word Druid derives it from "dru-wid", meaning "knower of oak trees", but "deru" also means truth or troth and so could also give the meaning "knower of the truth".

The Norse God Thor and all thunder Gods are connected to the Oak, which is often struch by lightning. The force of the blast bursts the trunk apart, often leaving a hollow bole and gnarled and withered trunks. Here lies a warning about stubborn rigid strength which resists and breaks in the storm. Flexibility can be a strength in itself, which can balance the forcefullness of rigid thinking and actions. During the 7th lunar month the Druids carved a circle, divided into 4 equal parts, on the Oak for protection against lightning. This paractice is said to be found even today amongst some old foresters in Britain, who continue to carve this symbol onto the Oak to avert disaster for the tree. Similarly acorns were carved on bannisters and blind-pull bobbins to ward off lightning striking the house.

In Greek Mythology Zeus/Jupiter, the Oak God, was also armed with thunderbolts. The oracular Oak grove at Dodona in Greece was dedicated to Zeus and messages from the Gods were interpreted from the sound of the wind in the Oak leaves. The oak is called quercus or querimus because it was by means of this tree that heathen gods used to answer queries about the future.

But it's not only Zeus who is connected to the Oak.Dryads and hamadryads are two types of wood nymphs in Greek mythology. These female nature spirits were thought to inhabit trees and forests, and they were especially fond of oak trees. There are many stories of dryads in myth and legend. These nymphs were not immortal. And indeed, the hamadryads were even more vulnerable, for it was believed that their lives depended on the health and well-being of the oak trees they inhabited.

The leaves and bark of the Oak are the main parts to be used medicinally. The juice from crushed Oak leaves can be applied directly onto wounds and the leaves can be soaked in boiling water, allowed to coola nd the liquid used to relieve fired and inflamed eyes. Use the same lotion for any cuts and burns and as a mouthwash for bleeding gums and for bathing piles (haemorrhoids), varicous veins and as a gargle for sore throats. A decoction of the bark can be used for reducing fevers, diarrhoea, dysentry, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis. A decoction is made by adding 1 teaspoonful of crushed bark per cup of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. This can be drunk 3 times a day in a wineglass measurement.

The bark should be collected from the Oak in small patches in April or May. Make sure that what you collect is smooth and free from blemishes. Carefully pare it from smooth branches or from trunks less than 4" thick, but be sure not to ring the tree or it will die. The bark yields a tannin which was used extensively for preparing leather and twine.

A coffee substitute can be made from acorn kernels. Chop them up and roast them to a light brown colour, then grind them up and roast them again.

Source:
http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/oak.htm

http://www.loggia.com/myth/dryads.html

http://www.botanyworld.com/quercus.html

 

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Suicide Tree - Cerbera odollam
Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
Ashanti blood - Mussaenda erythrophylla
Duranta - Duranta erecta
Maqui - Aristotelia chilensis
Manuka - New Zealand Tea Tree - Leptospermum scoparium
Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora
Australian Finger Lime - Citrus australasica
Sacred Flower of the Incas - Cantua buxifolia
Job's tears - Coix Lacryma-jobi
Velvet Bean - Mucuna pruriens
Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
Marimo - Aegagropila linnaei
Achocha/Caigua - Inca cucumber - Cyclanthera pedata
Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
Liquorice - Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra
Mullein -Verbascum thapsus
Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Manís Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
Physalis
Ceropegia
Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
Grevillea
Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
Sedum
Hydnora - Hydnora africana
Pickerel Weed - Pontederia
Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
Portulaca
Lobelia
Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum
Cosmos
Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
Zinnia
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
Olive - Olea europaea
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Desert rose - Adenium obesum
Oleander - Nerium Oleander
Abutilon
Sweet Pea - Lathyrus odoratus
Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
Butchers broom - Ruscus aculeatus
Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
Gladiolus
Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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