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Caucasian ash is a wild-growing poisonous plant with medicinal properties. It is grown for the procurement of medicinal raw materials used in alternative medicine, as well as for decorative purposes. The ash tree is called the burning bush because of the specific properties of the flowers. The plant is unpretentious, so it can be grown in any conditions.
Description and characteristics
Ash (Dictamnus) is a perennial herb that belongs to the Rutaceae family. It has erect thin stems, up to 90 cm high. Aboveground shoots are dark green at the bottom, lighter in the upper part. The stems are prone to woodiness in the summer season.
Leaves are basal, oblong-lanceolate with slight pubescence. The color is bright green with rich dark veins.
The ash tree begins to bloom in June and continues for a month and a half.
The buds form on opposite short stems. There are 8-12 of them on one stem. Flowers up to 25 cm in diameter. The color depends on the variety. Plants with pink petals and white veins are most common. There are also varieties with lilac, purple buds.
Important! The flowers exude a pleasant scent that resembles the scent of lemon.
After the withering of the buds, fruits are formed on the stems in the form of five-celled capsules. Seeds appear in them, which later fall off.
All varieties of the poisonous plant ash are characterized by resistance to low temperatures. The plant hibernates in the ground and does not need shelter. No other preparatory steps are required either.
The plant is drought-resistant and is not afraid of a long-term lack of liquid. Drying out is possible only with prolonged absence of watering or precipitation. Dry soil can harm the ash tree only during the budding period. In such cases, the flowering of the bushes begins later.
The ash tree is not susceptible to disease. Bushes are rarely affected by infections, mainly due to the presence of other diseased plants in the garden. Planting in soil infected with a fungus can also provoke a disease.
Yasenets prefers stony and calcareous soils. It tolerates well the deficiency of nutrients in the soil, therefore it grows in almost any conditions.
Shrubs of the burning bush can be found in Europe, as well as in Asia in regions with a temperate climate. In Russia, ash grows in the south, especially in the Caucasus. The plant is widespread in Siberia.
The roots, leaves, flowers and fruits of the ash tree are used as raw materials for the manufacture of medicinal products. The beneficial properties of a plant are determined by the components included in the chemical composition.
- essential oils;
The plant secretes essential oil through glands that are located on shoots, leaves and flowers. In many photos and descriptions, the Caucasian ash tree is called the burning bush. This is due to the specific property of the plant.
If you set fire to a flower, a low flame will appear
The plant will not be damaged by fire, which is why it is called unburned. This property is explained by the content of alkaloid substances, including dictamnine and trigonelline.
What is dangerous
The ash plant is called a poisonous plant, but it doesn't actually have toxic properties. The essential oils found on shoots and flowers can cause burns.
Important! The plant causes intoxication when ingested fresh. Therefore, the ash tree is planted in places inaccessible to children and pets.
Usually, skin damage appears 1-2 days after contact with the plant. Moreover, this happens only if the touch happened in calm dry weather. Until now, it is not known for certain which substances from the composition provoke burns.
Types and varieties of plants
Ash is a genus of perennial grasses. There are several varieties that differ in appearance.
It is considered the most common type. White ash (Dictamnus albus) - perennial up to 90 cm with dense basal leaves.
The plant blooms for up to 35 days starting in mid-June.
Due to the color of the petals, the ash is often called white saffron. The buds form at the top of the shoots. Seed fruits ripen in early September.
Perennial, height 70-80 cm. Caucasian ash (Dictamnus caucasicus) grows mainly in the southern regions.
The plant is characterized by high drought resistance
During the flowering period, it is covered with numerous buds, which form a large brush. They consist of bright pink-lilac petals. Flowering lasts up to 45 days.
Grows in Siberia, the Far East, Asia. The fluffy ash (Dictamnus dasycarpum) reaches 1 m in height. Perennial prefers loose soil and areas in partial shade.
An ash tree can grow in one place for up to 15 years
The lower part of the shoots is practically without foliage. Dark warty glands are present on the stems of fluffy ash. Leaves are oval, pointed. Flowers up to 4 cm in diameter, 5-6 petals, pink with purple veins. The name of the variety is explained by the fact that the seed pods are covered with fine hair.
A low-growing perennial, from 40 to 70 cm in height. The stems of the ash tree (Dictamnus gymnostylis) have practically no foliage. Small plates are present only near the bracts.
Holocumulus ash begins to bloom in May
The petals of the plant are pinkish. Purple veins are clearly visible on them. The variety is considered the most resistant to adverse factors.
Some experts classify the ash tree as a weed plant. This is due to the fact that it reproduces rapidly by self-seeding. If you need to get new copies, you can use one of the methods.
Planting material is harvested in August. After flowering, fruits are formed, in which seeds appear. It is necessary to cut the boxes before the moment when they open. Otherwise, the planting material will be lost.
Important! It is necessary to cut off the seed pods with protective gloves. After the procedure, hands are thoroughly washed to avoid burns.
When growing Fraxinella ash from seeds, it must be taken into account that they have an average germination rate. Up to 70% of the planting material germinates if the necessary conditions are provided for this.
Dividing the bush
The procedure is carried out in spring or autumn. In summer, it is impossible to divide the plant, since the shoots do not take root well in the soil in hot weather.
Stages of the procedure:
- The bush is dug up and removed from the ground.
- The roots are cleaned and divided into several parts.
- The resulting seedlings are planted on the site.
- Provide abundant watering.
The procedure is carried out in protective clothing to prevent burns. You cannot divide the bush during flowering.
Propagation by cuttings
Young non-lignified shoots can be used as planting material. Plants are harvested in the spring before flowering. Cut the cuttings at 6-8 cm.
Important! Shoots with 2-3 leaves and a piece of bark at the end should be separated.
Cuttings root quickly in a container with nutrient soil. They are covered with plastic or plastic bottles. Planting in the soil is carried out in the fall.
Planting and caring for an ash tree
The Burning Bush is an unpretentious plant. It can be planted in any type of soil. The cultivation technology provides for a small list of activities.
Seed sowing dates
Experienced gardeners recommend planting immediately after harvest. It is believed that seed germination will be higher.
Seeds are sown on cool, cloudy days in September
Planting in spring is allowed. For the winter, they are left in a dry place at a temperature of 6-12 degrees. When planting in spring, you need to make sure that the soil is warmed up. Usually, seeds are sown in April, when the constant temperature exceeds 8 degrees, and the risk of frost has passed.
Soil preparation, location and sowing of seeds
For growing ash trees and burning bush, open, well-lit areas are best suited. Landing in partial shade is allowed. It is impossible to plant an ash tree in shaded places, since it will not fully develop.
Loose soil with lime is suitable for bushes. Before planting, it is recommended to dig up the site, add compost or humus. This is done 2-3 months before sowing.
- Dig shallow furrows in the soil.
- Pour wood ash or crushed compost on the bottom.
- Water the soil.
- When the water is absorbed, place the seeds on the bottom at a distance of 8-10 cm.
- Sprinkle with loose soil.
Seeds germinate in 12-14 days. Seedlings require abundant watering. Top dressing is not applied in the first year.
After planting in the ground, pink ash, like other species, needs periodic watering. It is carried out as the soil dries up, but not more often than 2 times a week. 1 bush requires 10-15 liters of water.
Important! Waterlogging damages ash trees and provokes root rot.
Loosening and mulching of the soil is carried out once a month. These procedures promote better fluid drainage and keep moisture at an optimal level. Bark, sawdust or straw are added to the soil as mulch. During loosening, weeds growing around the ash tree should be removed.
Plant prefers alkaline soil
Lime and appropriate fertilizers must be applied. You can use chalk, wood ash, dolomite flour, which also reduce acidity and increase the alkalinity of the soil. They are applied 2 times in the spring before flowering, and also in the fall after the final watering. Fresh bird droppings and cow dung are not recommended, as they affect the acidity of the soil, and also accelerate the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms.
Diseases and pests
In the photo of ash flowers, you rarely see signs of fungal or viral infection. The plant is resistant to infections and almost never gets sick. Waterlogging of the soil, prolonged drought and fluid retention in the roots can provoke the disease. Pathology is accompanied by wilting of flowers. In the future, the bush dies off and must be dug out of the soil.
To prevent diseases, the ash tree must be treated with a fungicide twice a year - in spring and autumn. As a prophylactic agent, the use of an infusion of wormwood, garlic or calendula is allowed.
The plant does not attract pests, therefore it does not need protective measures
Medicinal properties of Caucasian ash
Ash is used exclusively in alternative medicine. The medicinal properties of this plant have not been confirmed in laboratory conditions and have been questioned by many doctors. Traditional healers claim that the burning bush has a wide range of healing qualities.
The plant is credited with the following properties:
The juice obtained from the ash tree is used to treat warts and other skin defects. Infusions and decoctions are used as a remedy against ticks, urticaria, and fungal lichen. They are applied to the affected skin in the form of compresses.
Inside ash is taken only as a sedative and diuretic. A dry plant is brewed in boiling water and drunk instead of tea. Before using the ash tree for medicinal purposes, it is imperative to consult a doctor, and also to make sure that there are no contraindications.
Collection and procurement
Rhizomes and stalks of ash are harvested as a medicinal raw material. According to herbalists and healers, it contains the most useful substances.
Harvesting of roots is carried out in the fall. In the spring, this cannot be done, since after wintering the plant is depleted and there are very few useful substances in it. The bush should be cut and dug up. The roots are soaked in water and washed from the soil. Subsequently, they are dried in a well-ventilated, sunlit place.
Important! Oven drying is acceptable. To do this, clean rhizomes are laid out on a baking sheet and kept for 4-5 hours at a temperature of 45 degrees.
Ash shoots are harvested after flowering. The seed pods are removed and the stems are cut at the root with a pruner. Subsequently, they are crushed and dried.
Store the harvested ash tree in paper bags or breathable fabric bags. Keep medicinal herbs out of the reach of children and animals. The shelf life of the harvested raw materials is 1 year. In the future, it loses its properties and becomes unusable.
Caucasian ash is a wild perennial shrub that is grown for decorative purposes, as well as for obtaining medicinal raw materials. The plant is resistant to adverse factors, so it can be grown freely in all regions of the Russian Federation. The ash tree is characterized by long flowering and unpretentious care. When growing such a plant, precautions must be taken to exclude possible damage to the skin.