Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jasmine (common) The National flower of Pakistan



Jasmine (common) is the National flower of Islamic Republic of Pakistan .In Urdu language it is called Chambeili.  The floral wreath surrounding the “State Emblem of Pakistan” represents the floral wreath of jasmine shrubs.



Jasmine’s Binomial name is Jasminum officinale. Jasminum officinale (Common Jasmine, Poet's Jasmine, Jessamine) is a species of jasmine, in the family Oleaceae, famous for its scent.



 Scientific classification:

|     Kingdom: Plantae
|     (unranked): Angiosperms
|     (unranked): Eudicots
|     (unranked): Asterids
|     Order: Lamiales
|     Family: Oleaceae
|     Genus: Jasminum
|     Species: J. officinale



Jasmine has over 200 species. Jasmine is a flowering shrub in the olive family. Jasmine is indigenous to warm climates throughout Asia, Europe and Africa. Some types of jasmine are evergreen, while others are deciduous (their leaves fall off in autumn), and they flower in late spring or early summer.



Jasmine plants are usually up to 3 meters high and 2 meters wide. Jasmine is a climbing vine with oval and shiny, rich green leaves. The leaves have five to nine leaflets, each up to 2½ inches long.   Jasmine flowers grow in clusters and have five or six 1-inch white or yellow petals. It has small white star-shaped flowers.



The plant flowers from April to September. Plant jasmine seeds at least eight feet apart in the late summer through late autumn. The plants will need at least four hours of direct sunlight daily, a lot of water, and sandy loam soil Jasmine is spread by cuttings of nearly ripe wood in summer. The soil should be kept moist but well drained for optimum growth. Frequent prune is required to grow it as a shrub of desired size. Pruning also helps keep an abundance of flowers, since flowers are produced on new wood. It grows in full sun to partial shade.



uses

v     Jasmine is also used as an essential oil in aromatherapy. It is specifically used in dermatology as either an antiseptic or anti-inflammatory agent

v     Jasmine absolute is known as the 'King of Oils', and its heavy, sweet scent is loved by most people.

v     It is also used as an aphrodisiac, for brain stimulant, calming, restoring balance and confidence, anti-depressive, and soothes headaches

v     The aroma of Jasmine is described as calming and soothing without being soporific, and is indicated for depression and stress - as well as some respiratory conditions. It is indicated for sensitive skin conditions too.


v     The fragrant jasmine odor can be extracted and is one of the most widely used scents in the making of perfume.

v     Jasmine is used for tea.



Jasmine flowers are popular in gardens, as houseplants, and for use in cut flower arrangements The Jasmine flower releases its fragrance at night after the sun has set and especially when the moon is waxing towards fullness, thus it is associated with soothing peaceful night-time moods Jasmine flowers are traditional hair adornments across southern Asia. Many women wear garlands of Jasmine flowers in their hair



Monday, June 6, 2011

Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar) National Tree of Pakistan


Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar) is the national tree of Pakistan. The deodar cedar forests are in the extreme northern mountains of Pakistan at an altitude of 1500-2000. Pakistan has a large forest of Cedrus deodara in Kalam (Swat valley). Other place where it is found a lot of is Chitral Gol National.  In Abbotabad Pakistan has some very rare and old trees, some even as old as 200-300 years old.





APPEARANCE

It is a large evergreen coniferous tree reaching 40–50 m tall, exceptionally 60 m, with a trunk up to 3 m diameter. It has a conic crown with level branches and drooping branches at the end. . Branches horizontally arranged, and end of the shoots pendulous. One-year shoots densely pubescent. Needles blue-green, about 30 in a cluster, 3-5 cm long, acuminate.






LEAVES

The leaves are needle-like, mostly 2.5–5 cm long, occasionally up to 7 cm long, slender (1 mm thick), borne singly on long shoots, and in dense clusters of 20-30 on short shoots; they vary from bright green to glaucous blue-green in color.










 FLOWERS

Flowers appear in September and October. Cones solitary or in pairs. Ovate or barrel-shaped. 7-10 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, rounded at the apex, bluish when young, reddish-brown when ripe; maturing from September to November; the seed is shed from September to December; seed scales 5-6 cm wide, usually glabrous on the upper side. Seed about 17 mm long, about 6 mm wide; wing large, light brown The female cones are barrel-shaped, 7–13 cm long and 5–9 cm broad, and disintegrate when mature (in 12 months) to release the winged seeds. The male cones are 4–6 cm long, and shed their pollen in autumn.







GROWING

The climate in Pakistan allows for a Cedrus deodara to flourish in its region. Cedrus deodara trees are grown in mild winters and are destroyed in temperature below 25 C. The best trees are found on deep, well-drained soils. High atmospheric moisture is favorable. It is tolerant to shade, but juvenile trees are prone to harm from frosts and cold wind.


USES

Cedrus deodara is used for various purposes.


|    Building material: Deodar is in great demand as building material because of its durability, rot-resistant character and fine, close grain, which is capable of taking a high polish. Its rot-resistant character also makes it an ideal for constructing, deodar wood was used extensively for construction of barracks, public buildings, bridges, canals and railway cars Despite its durability it is not a strong timber, and its brittle nature makes it unsuitable for delicate work where strength is required, such as chair-making.

|    Medicine: Cedrus deodara has curative properties and therefore used in medicines. It also has antifungal properties and has some potential for control of fungal deterioration of spices during storage and cure skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis

|    Remove toxins: Deodar’s increase digestive function, remove toxins from the bowel, alleviate coughing,

|    Astringent: The outer bark and stem are astringent its biomedical actions are reported to be carminative, antispasmodic, creates sweating, urination and is aromatic


|    Essential oil:  The inner wood is aromatic and used to make incense. Inner wood is distilled into essential oil. As insects avoid this tree, the essential oil is used as insect repellent on the feet of horses, cattle and camels.


|    Aromatherapy: Cedar oil is often used for its aromatic properties, especially in aromatherapy. It has a characteristic woody odor which may change somewhat in the course of drying out. The crude oils are often yellowish or darker in color. Its applications cover soap perfumes, household sprays, floor polishes and insecticides and are also used in microscope work as clearing oil


RANGE

It is widely grown as an ornamental tree, much planted in parks and large gardens for its drooping foliage Cedrus deodara is also found in other places of the world .Cedrus deodara is a species of cedar native to the western Himalayas in northern Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan, , north-central India,Tibet and western Nepal. It is widely planted as an ornamental in Europe and the western U.S.